Going Walkabout 2015 – A 500km Trek for Gilda’s Club

The Impetus: Friday September 13, 2013

Beginning to climb the stairs of Princess Margaret Hospital, heading to their cancer clinic, my gut wrenched anticipating the worst. Memories grabbed like pinchers sucking dry any false sense of bravado I’d summoned over the years, months, days, hours and minutes before this moment.  

These were the same stairs my Mother had climbed time and time again throughout her unsuccessful journey towards wellness. A journey I swore I’d never take. She died of breast cancer. Yet here I was, entering the same portal of wretched uncertainty she’d been consumed by thirty years previous. Each unexplored macabre recollection of her struggle, long since abandoned to churn in the solar plexus of my dread, lashed out, debilitating the swagger of my own steps. Here I was. I’d failed miserably.

On that initial visit my oncologist confirmed I did indeed have a stage 3 cancerous growth in my ovaries. Yes, I would need to have my reproductive organs removed, urgently. No, they weren’t sure if the cancer had spread to other organs. Yes, that would be ascertained during the surgery, to take place within the next two weeks. I would be in the hospital about three days. I’d have a scar from pelvis to belly button and beyond.

Walking out the hospital doors and up University Avenue to the subway I knew my life had been irrevocably altered forever. I had been given big a wake-up call.

As I put distance between myself and Princess Margaret Hospital I was optimistic. I was going to use this experience as an opportunity to uncover the unresolved patterns of thoughts and feelings which had led to the creation of this dis-ease in my body. Uncovering any unhealthy patterns would be the first step in no longer having to harbour them at a cellular level. Once these patterns were disbursed the true purity of life could flow freely within me.

On that day I decided I didn’t need to fight the cancerous growth. I needed to work with it to unravel any and all emotional scars propagating its existence. I also knew my life could never be the same again.    

So began my six-month journey of struggle, love, faith and healing.

Fast forward to January 1st, 2015

Winston Churchill is quoted as once saying: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

I have been given back my life. As I write this I’m cancer free and feel incredibly blessed. And now it’s my chance and privilege to give back.

The walk

I will be walking just over 500 kilometers with the goal of raising at least $50,000 for Gilda’s Club Greater Toronto and Gilda’s Club Simcoe-Muskoka.   Gilda’s sole purpose is to support individuals, emotionally and spiritually, who are traversing the path I did in 2013-2014.

This is my attempt to give back.

Stage One: 233 km. from Collingwood Ontario to the Victoria Hospital of the London Health Sciences Centre, where they have the London Regional Cancer Program.

Stage Two: 189 km. to the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto.

Final Stage: 100 km. to the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Centre is located in the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) in Barrie, Ontario.

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