On Sunday, November 15, 2015, Cameron and I participated in Lymphoma Canada’s 2nd annual take it to the mat, the Great Yoga and Wellness event held in Toronto’s CBC building. This year we were so pleased to welcome Linda Philp and Chantal Elward to our team. Together our team raised over $4,000! A special thank you to all of you who generously donated and participated in our Karma classes, we couldn’t have done it without you.
We enjoyed every moment of the day. During the morning, Master of Ceremonies and one of Canada’s leading Alternative Health experts, Bryce Wylde, shared his wisdom on healthy living; Keynote Speaker Louisa Jewell - Founder and President of the Canadian Positive Psychology Association – opened the door to how our emotional well-being affects our physical well-being through her talk The Science of Happiness; and, Lymphoma Survivor and Kindergarten teacher Sarah Horgan spoke from her heart to share her poignant journey from illness to living cancer-free. In the afternoon, we practiced 108 minutes of yoga in the Barbara Frum Atrium with 100 participants. This year’s event raised approximately $140,000 in support of over 100,000 families living with Lymphoma.
Lymphoma Cancer is a challenge to explain as it encompasses over 50 types of cancer. But one statistic that resonates with our family is that Lymphoma is the number one cancer in young adults between the ages 18 and 39, and Hodgkin lymphoma is on the rise. It affects young people at a time in their life which should be filled with hope for the future. In listening to survivor stories, there are often challenges in the diagnosis. Patients may have symptoms of fatigue, a rash, trouble breathing, night sweats or loss of weight but the family physician couldn’t seem to pinpoint the cause. In some instances, it has taken over a year for a proper diagnosis. Just in the past few months, we have heard three separate stories of a delay in the diagnosis when success for survival depends on early treatment. Many of you will remember that Cameron was diagnosed with asthma before determining it was Stage 4b Hodgkin Lymphoma. So whether it’s a cough or overwhelming fatigue, we encourage you to be mindful of any abnormalities in your health. No one knows your body better than you. Trust yourself if it feels like something isn’t right. Be your own advocate to push for more answers to get to the root of an issue. If you have any questions about Lymphoma or the organization, please access their website at www.lymphoma.ca
For our family and friends, take it to the mat has become a celebration of wellness that goes beyond the day. In the 10 years since Cameron’s diagnosis and treatment for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, we are forever grateful for the gift of Cameron in our lives – a son, a brother and a friend. And we also try to take steps to celebrate our own lives. One of the blessings in the adversity of cancer – for the individual and family and friends – is gratitude for our health and each other.
Once again, thank you for your generosity and support. We are so blessed and grateful to have all of you in our lives.
Catherine and Cameron
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