The banner picture is from 2014, the smaller picture from 1984. We were the "Class of '84".
This August 2022 I will be embarking on a cycling challenge. I have committed to participate in the Tour de Cure presented by Wheaton Precious Metals to help BC Cancer Foundation break down cancer.
Getting on my bike and riding for 200+ kilometres over two days seems so insignificant compared to the struggles of those who face cancer on a daily basis. They don't struggle to get to the end of their day only twice...but every single day.
Recently, one of my high school classmates lost her battle with cancer. Sara was diagnosed with cancer a bit over 4 years ago, and was given very little time. She never gave up and she fought for over four years. We were the Class of '84. There were four of us...now there are three. Sara is the one standing in the back in the banner picture.
On the Saturday before Canadian Thanksgiving 2021, I sat on my sister's sofa in Nanaimo and wept as I watched the livestream of Sara's funeral service in Iowa. She wanted me to come down to play the piano for her service, and because of Covid-19, it was not possible for me to make it to Iowa from BC. My heart is still breaking. I could not be there. All I could do was send flowers and ask my other classmates who could be there to give all of my love to the family. You see, she wasn't just a classmate from highschool. We grew up in a boarding school in Africa. You weren't just kids thrown together for school. We lived together for 10 years - eating, sleeping, playing, crying, laughing, singing, praying - we were always together. We became family, and Sara was one of my sisters. Her siblings are my brothers. Her parents are my aunt and uncle. Not by blood, but because our ties are deeper and stronger. Every time I think of Sara, I am reduced to tears, knowing that I will not see her again on this earth. Though she was ready to go, I was not ready to lose her. I don't think I ever will be. She was only 23 days older than me. She was far too young.
I was only able to send flowers to the family. But I will do everything that I can to try to help bring an end to cancer. That means I will continue to raise money for cancer research. I will continue to get on my bike and ride every year in support of cancer research. I will do this in the hope that one day, someone else won't have to lose a family member - whether it is a family member through blood or a family member through choice.
I will not stop,
I will continue to fight with those who are still fighting. Christina. Julie. Tina. Jessica. Jeff.
I will remember those who are gone. Sara. Richard. Grandma. Heather. Ron.
I ask that you help me by donating to the BC Cancer Foundation.
Thank you, from the depths of my heart.