From Grief, Depression, or Illness to Positivity & Healing

July 29, 2010

Can YOU Help Fight Women’s Cancer?

Filed under: Breast Cancer & Leukemia Awareness — by Sue @ 10:11 am

Hello, I was wondering if you’d be able to HELP – I’m helping to run the Markham Classic Slopitch Tournament Aug 14-15 that is going to have a raffle/auction with all proceeds go to Women’s Cancer @ Markham/Stouffville Hospital. Would you be able to donate ANYTHING to the raffle/auction (i.e. gift basket, gift certificates, etc) to help raise money? If you’re able to, please send email address, or let me know – any help would be greatly appreciated. For more info, please contact Markham Classic Charity Slo-pitch Tournament for Women’s Cancer – see official donation request letter below.

July 2010

Help Us Fight Women’s Cancer

Since the mid ’90’s Ron Filion and his team have been hosting the “Markham Classic Slo-Pitch Tournament” in conjunction with Molson’s Slo-Pitch National, which attracts teams from all across Ontario. Over 800 participants enjoy two fun filled days of softball with an event Saturday evening that includes a live auction and raffle with all proceeds donated to a local charity. Since we began, we have donated thousands of dollars to those charities and we continue this year, with our choice to support the fight against “Cancer in Women”.

The Markham Classic Slo-Pitch Tournament will be held on August 14 & 15, and headquarters will be located at the Owl & Firkin, 7181 Woodbine Avenue, (just north of Steeles).

Our mission will be to help in the fight against cancer in our community.

The success of this year’s Slo-Pitch Tournament relies on the generous support of our valued partners. I invite you to become one of those partners and join our tournament as a Sponsor to help raise money in support of the Breast Health Centre at Markham Stouffville Hospital.

Since opening its doors in June 2007, the Centre has delivered a necessary service to the women in our community. The rapid access Breast Health Centre represents a patient-centered model of care offering the latest in diagnostic, assessment and treatment capabilities focused completely on the patient’s needs. The center delivers “one-stop” coordinated care in a dignified setting built for optimum patient comfort and privacy.

On Saturday August 14th at the “Markham Classic”, we will have a live auction, a joker poker as well as a raffle. Your support by providing items such as gift certificates, gift baskets and items that can be auctioned or raffled will help us to raise money to ensure that woman in our community continue to receive the care they need, close to home.

We thank you for considering a continued partnership with us and look forward to building a stronger relationship with you.


Sherry Filion


June 9, 2010

Three years ago……

Three years ago to date, I arrived in Scotland around 8am their time (3am EST) to travel from Glasgow to Kirkcaldy. I got off the flight not knowing yet if my mum had passed away since my flight took off from Toronto the night before. Once I got through Customs and saw my sister and brother-in-law I found out that my mum was somehow still alive and hanging on.

She had slipped into a coma the previous Wednesday night after losing her battle with para influenza secondary to leukemia. The doctors couldn’t figure out how she was still hanging on on Saturday, but I like to believe it’s because my sister had told her I was on my way back to say goodbye.

I still remember, like it was yesterday, leaving the previous Sunday after a quick visit to see them, and her ending up in the hospital that she reassured me she’d be seeing me in October and to go back home. Needless to say, it’s one of the things I regret in my life. I wish I’d stayed.

But I didn’t, so I learned to deal with it these last 3 years.

I arrived at the hospital around noon time and I couldn’t believe the change in my mum in just a week, she was jaundice, puffed up and making “the breathing sound” that you knew her last breath could be at any minute….if anybody has lost anyone, you’ll know what I mean by this.

I’m fighting back tears as I’m writing this, but if you know me, you know I do better getting my feelings written down, and if you’ve been through it, then know you’re not alone.

My mum somehow managed to hang on until 1:47am Sunday June 10th (8:47pm June 9th in Canada). She was surrounded by myself, my dad, my brother, sister, brother-in-law, her sister and her sister-in-law. I was lucky enough to be holding her hand as she passed away.

The one thing I will remember about that afternoon is the fact that my dad had said she’d been in the coma and hadn’t opened her eyes since Wednesday, no matter what stimulus was given to her, yet when the nurse came in with a stick to wet her mouth, I was holding her hand, and for about 20 seconds she opened them. She didn’t focus, she didn’t speak, but to me, it was her way of saying goodbye to me, that she knew I was there.

My dad lost his best friend that day, they did everything together. It took him a long time to get past her death and move on. I’m so grateful that he met Joyce, his fiance now, at Maggie’s Centre, which is a Centre in Kirkcaldy for people who are going through cancer or family members that are dealing with a loved one with cancer. Joyce lost her husband the previous year, so knew what he was going through.

I remember my mum fondly, I still “speak” to her in my mind, but it’s days like today that’s extremely hard. I still expect the phone to ring some nights and it be her calling up for a chat. Sometimes when I’m going through old boxes or books she’s given me, I’ll see a little note with a quirp that she wrote, and it brings it all back.

I remember June 9/10, 2007 as if it were yesterday. I don’t know if it will ever get easier, but we get through it. My favorite grief quote has and always will be “Grief is something so big you can’t climb over, or get under, but somehow, you will get through it”.

March 6, 2009

That’s Why we Walk

Filed under: Breast Cancer & Leukemia Awareness — by Sue @ 2:15 pm

I bought a book in the States called “Why we walk” & it’s people that’ve walked in the 60 mile walk in the States for breast cancer. The CD that comes with it has a song is called “Why we walk” by Phil & Julie Vasser – it really touched me:

There’s an empty seat at the dinner table
where a mother used to sit.
She was 34 years old, full of life and dreams
and two small kids.
There’s a young man with a tear in his eye and a pink riboon on his coat
in memory of the only love he’d ever known.

There’s a lady looking in the mirror without a single strand of hair.
She barely recognized the woman standing there.
She’s waging a silent war against an enemy inside
and putting up the fight of her life

That’s why we walk.
We walk to remember.
We walk to celebrate.
That’s why we walk.
Leaning on each other
and holding on to faith.
For those who are gone and those who live on.
We honor them all
& that’s why we walk.

She lays in a cold white room in a baby-blue paper gown,
anticipating what the x-rays might have found.
Then she hears the words that always stop you on a dime
and prays that they found it in time.


For life, for love, for one another,
for him, for her, there’s strength in numbers.

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