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Leave a message on the Wall of Hope, presented by CIBC

Who are you running for?™ gained a  new meaning for Krista very soon after the her first time participating in the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure. Her story is way too common but thankfully with early detection there is hope and support.  We wish Krista and her family the best of luck!

for my sister

This year I decided to enter the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure. I had always wanted to do this, mainly because I am a woman and I have breasts! I had some work colleagues that have survived breast cancer but no one really close to me.

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The symptoms for breast cancer can be quite varied. Franca shares her experience so others won’t overlook the same signs.
Franca

My name is Franca, I am 48 and a 1 year breast cancer survivor.  Finding out that I had breast cancer was the most devastating part of my life.  I went through all the emotions, why me, am I going to be okay etc.  I was one of those women who faithfully checked for lumps and the shocking part of this was that there was no palpable lump, my only symptom was constant pain for about 2 years.  After I got over the initial shock of my life, I had to make a decision, am I going to fight this horrible disease or let it take over?  Well I never really realized what a strong person I really am.  I accepted what I had and just continued on with daily life.

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My name is Maggie Lima-Machado, I am 37yrs.old and a breast cancer survivor… knock wood. At the 2009 Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board OECTA-Trustee Public Speaking Awards, my 9yr.old daughter wrote and recited her speach about “The Person I Admire Most”.  She came in 2nd place/Silver Award and was youngest among her peers. Never have I been more proud, and was reminded of why I fought my cancer then, and continue to fight now.  So now I share my cancer story through the eyes of my child.

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For some people, breast cancer can be a hard lesson to swallow. There are those, however, who look on the bright side and  learn that it can help you find the courage to pursue your dreams. We hope you enjoy Laura’s story as much as we did!

Laura

Laura with her lovely locks all grown back

In ’03 when my kids were 11 & 7 I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I was 42 yrs, the picture of health running 10K a day/4-5 days a week with a healthy diet and happy outlook on life.  Lesson #1, cancer picks who it wants.

I didn’t feel ‘sick’ till the chemo.  When my hair started falling out I cut it all off, made some braids with my daughter and sewed them to my bandana.  My kids were afraid to see me bald, too much change for them and I looked sick to them with my bald head.  I wore this bandanna knowing people might be thinking ‘she’s a biker chick”, when I’m really a soccer mom.  I just didn’t want the stares of pity.

In doing this desperate act of recycling I’d unknowingly planted a seed for my future.  Lesson #2, necessity is the mother of…kooky head gear.

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Emily takes us on a philosophical journey as she remembers her Aunt Darquise.

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My aunt Darquise was my mom’s older sister. She always smiled and had a great laugh. And she was brave, because she went through a lot of tough stuff, including breast cancer and ovarian cancer. She did treatments for nearly two years until the cancer was finally gone, but it came back and she put up a good fight until the treatments stopped working.

Mom told me my aunt was afraid at first, but then she went to church for counseling, and the priest assured her everything was alright. My aunt died peacefully and quietly, knowing she was fine.

It doesn’t matter if heaven exists or not. Dying itself is just part of the natural recycling process of life. It works the same way a lot of things do. The leaves that fall from the trees shrivel and turn into soil, which allows for more plants to grow. The waves of the water flow in and out, We inhale, and then we exhale. Our bodies thrive and then pass away.

I love life when I remember it’s simplicity and it’s miraculous beauty.

By Emily Hunt