Melanie with her son Tristan

We tend to put off a lot in life, all the while time marches on and diligently away. We say we’re going to save things for a rainy day, for a special occasion or for when we have more time. At the age of 34 I have lost my mother, both of my grandmothers, my great aunt, my aunt, my uncle, a college and high school friend to varying forms of cancer. And I have more family and friends still fighting courageously with every ounce of strength they have.

Melanie and her run teammate Catherine (pictured right), who is celebrating a decade of being cancer-free this year

Based on the hereditary factors alone, somewhere along the way I had quietly accepted the fact that I too would face this indiscriminate disease in my future one day. That was until my neighbour asked me to join her for the 2013 Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure. There was no hesitation, not even a thought as to whether this was a good time right now, because for me it was about time. Again and again, cancer has pushed me to the brink of absolute sadness, so now I’m taking a stand and pushing back, because in no reality should cancer be acceptable.

With each day that passes, bringing me closer to October 6, I’m filled with a renewed sense of hope. I will walk alongside a woman who has been more than just a friend, but like a mother to me, as she celebrates a decade of being cancer-free. I also walk with the hope that I will surpass my mother’s life of 49 years, to watch my son grow from a boy to a man. I walk because it’s about time, and what you do with it is up to you.