An amazing young man is ‘portaging’ (carrying a canoe on his head/shoulders) all across Ontario, to raise money for cancer research! Check out the details of the ‘Pink Portage’ inside!
from Andrew’s website pinkportage.com :
It is truly amazing what we remember as children and how those experiences shape us into the people we are going to be. My story started in the back seat of a car, where I sat and traced raindrops with my finger as they moved sideways along the side of the car window. My mom caught a glimpse of me in the rearview mirror and said:
“Andrew, stop it! Your father isn’t going to be happy cleaning your fingerprints.”
Snapping me out of my raindrop induced trance, I remember growing increasing impatient with the slow moving traffic and finally asking my mom where we were going and why? My mom, her tone now less harsh, calmly replied:
“To Princess Margaret Hospital.” And without a quiver in her voice, she bravely said: “For my cancer treatment, dear.”
15 years later, those words still echo in my head today. Although I had no idea what cancer was at the time, I distinctly remember this as being the first time I have ever been scared for someone other than myself.
My mom had developed breast cancer, which required a surgery to remove the small tumor and five weeks of daily radiation treatments to help combat the disease. For me, this meant that this was the first of many car rides to downtown Toronto. In the weeks that followed, I remember being awakened suddenly to make the scheduled appointments, constantly scolded for annoying my younger sister, who also came with us and receiving cookies and juice at the end of every visit. Most of all, I remember how strong my mother was. Despite becoming visibly tired and increasingly sore, she always kept her spirits high amongst us kids. I never once saw her cry. After the final treatment, we were lucky enough to discover that my mom’s cancer went into remission, which thankfully, has continued to this day.
Over the next few years, cancer once again came back into my life, as both my grandma and my aunt were diagnosed with breast cancer. My grandma, in a few months went on to survive the disease but my aunt was not as fortunate. In a long 9 month struggle, through many surgeries and chemotherapy treatments, my aunt’s cancer fatally spread to the rest of her body. In March of 2005, my Aunt Kristine passed away.
Growing up, I asked many questions pertaining to cancer. Not just what it is, but more importantly what can be done to help treat patients at risk for cancer and throughout the course of the disease. To me this could include: preventative measures, treatments and support programs for the patients. It has been estimated that 40 percent of women and 45 percent of men will face some kind of cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. Not to mention the amount of men, women and children that will be indirectly affected by that cancer diagnosis. Everyone is either directly or indirectly affected by cancer in their lifetime, bringing new emphasis for a cure to be found.
I believe that further research will be the key to help develop a cure for cancer. It will help create more personalized and effective medicine that will target the holistic processes of a person. Cancer doesn’t discriminate; it affects people of all genders, races, ethnicities, ages and incomes. Cancer affects us all. I believe it will take an entire community of people to generate a strong campaign that help lead to continued cancer research and care. I hope you will help join me on my journey, portaging across Ontario for a cure because…