Although Melanie Pouliot spent most of her life in the Kamloops area, she feels that Sun Peaks is her home. Skiing here as a teenager, with her now husband, Leo, the two fell in love with each other and with the mountain.
“We grew in our skiing ability together and as soon as our kids could walk, we put them on skis,” says Pouliot. “Sun Peaks was our family winter playground. . . our goal has always been to live up here.”
Living a normal, healthy lifestyle with her husband and sons, Marc, James and Adam, Pouliot’s life turned upside down when her eldest son was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer at age 12.
Pouliot’s first book, Life Through the Eyes of an Hourglass, is an account of Marc’s 15 year battle with the disease.
Marc was given a life expectancy of eight months, provided he underwent radiation, but being a nutritionist by trade, Pouliot had reservations about treatment.
“We opted out of the radiation and we decided to go through the natural process with herbs, vitamins and nutrition therapy,” explains Pouliot. “He really responded well and so we continued with that for three more years.”
Being the strong-willed, upbeat person he was, Marc pulled through his first battle with cancer but relapsed just before his 16th birthday. Once again radiation was, according to the doctors, essential to his recovery. Marc was old enough to make this treatment decision himself and decided to go with radiation.
After a lengthy process with health setbacks, Marc went into remission once again when he was 21. But by 27 he had a major relapse and passed away on September 25, 2011.
“Marc was a role model to many people,” says Pouliot. “He taught my husband and me to live in the moment, to be present, to never take anything in life for granted.”
Throughout Marc’s last years, Pouliot spent time writing Life Through the Eyes of an hourglass.
“Marc’s wish was to have his life in print and to leave his legacy,” she explains, “in hopes of encouraging and inspiring other people to live a better life.”
Shortly after the death of their son, Melanie and Leo fulfilled one of Marc’s dying wishes to see Australia, which turned into an eight month grieving process travelling in foreign countries.
Once back in Canada, Pouliot and her husband decided to live out their lifelong dream of moving to Sun Peaks.
Now that she’s completed the book, Pouliot hopes to bring her passion and career of nutritional healing to Sun Peaks.
“I’m looking at the different possibilities of being able to share my work and what I have to offer with the residents of this community,” she explains. “Being in nature and in the mountains and the fresh air. . . it feels good. I feel good in my body being here.”
Pick up a copy Life Through the Eyes of an Hourglass at Vertical Café in the Coast Sundance Lodge in Sun Peaks.
Click here for more information on Life Through the Eyes of an hourglass.