Opinions & Letters

Taking time for our wellness

 | September 19, 2020

Terry fox run supports cancer fighters

Patty (left) and Jarrett Hofmann at last years Terry Fox Run at Riverside Park in Kamloops, B.C.

My mom is an angel. Doesn’t everyone think that though? Making it kind of a cliché to say. But I really think that’s the case for my mom, and let me tell you why.

I don’t think she has ever thought about herself. 

During our childhood her free time was spent driving my sister and I up to Sun Peaks every weekend to ski while she sat in Bento’s scrapbooking, or to swim meets, which are completely boring except for the seconds you actually race, but she snapped  photos and never complained. A hot dinner was ready at home, even though she hated cooking (something I only recently learned but probably should have considering we had the same Shake ‘N Bake chicken or overcooked steaks almost daily, sorry mom).

She’s always put us above her own needs. And let me tell you, because I know she won’t, she has needs of her own. I’m afraid her selflessness has caught up with her though, and it’s not fair. She’s the one who deserves support more than any of my family. 

She was born hard-of-hearing, which put her behind the eight ball right from birth. It’s not fair. She struggled in elementary school, high school, university, jobs, she’s struggled with bosses, co-workers, unions, and doctors because she’s hard of hearing.

Now, she’s battling cancer.

“Take time for your wellness, or you’ll be forced to take time for your illness.”

This is her new favourite saying and, if you’re lucky enough to know her, you know she’s been preaching these words more often lately. It’s obvious why, she has never thought as much about her own wellness as she has about her family and friends and this selflessness has caught up with her.

It started in her colon two years ago, and it’s moved to so many places and she has had so many surgeries I can’t keep track anymore. There’s cancer in her liver and lungs, and that’s just what we know so far. It’s left, it’s come back, and it’s resulted in 28 chemo treatments and counting.

She refers to this fight as her temporary detour, which I think is awesome because it shows who she is in a nutshell. She’s a fighter, and has been her whole life, because she’s had to be. She’s fought to hear, to read lips, to have kids, to get jobs, to keep jobs, and now she’s fighting for her life. 

But for Patty it’s only temporary.

This year’s Terry Fox Run is virtual for the first time. But since it’s the second since she was diagnosed, and the 40th run since its inception, you can believe it’s an important one. 

You can walk, run, bike, hike, or dance this weekend, and you can bet that Patty is going to dance. She’s going to dance for a whole five kilometres merely days after chemo treatment number 28, because as I, and now you, know, Patty is a fighter.

My mom is my hero.

Please give Patty, other cancer fighters, survivors, and victims, the support that they deserve by joining them in the fight against cancer via this year’s virtual Terry Fox Run by donating money for cancer research. You can support Patty’s campaign goal by clicking this link. 

And, because I know my mom would hate for me to end it with a plug about raising money (did I mention she’s a little stubborn?), I will ask you to please, wear a mask during this pandemic when something so simple can save the life of someone who is immunocompromised like Patty. And don’t forget to  take time for your wellness, or you’ll be forced to take time for your illness.

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