Losing our daughter to cancer on the 27th February this year must be one of the defining moments in my life, as was her diagnosis 10 months earlier, as well as much of the time in between spent in hospital, enduring chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. During that period in our lives, the future faded into the distance and we focused solely on the present. We knew that the future held no guarantees and, although we would remain positive about the outlook, the only certain thing was the here and now.
When you lose a child, you have no idea how you will cope and what will help in the painful process that lies ahead. In my typical way, I assumed that it could be dealt with through some grief counselling, slowing down, and being kind to myself. This approach was based on all the good advice that is shared freely at a time like that. And while I went through all those things, at some point I had to get back in my life and move forward … I went back to work and got involved with lots of things as a means to keep busy and ‘in life’. However, I desperately felt that life would never be the same again, and that, although I could never bring Jess back, I could at least try and help other children who will unfortunately be diagnosed with the same cancer, and whose parents will have the same awful prognosis told to them, which hopefully they too won’t believe will ever become a reality. You see … this is the only way you can cope – by believing that there is a shaft of hope and that you are on the right side of the statistics.
As I had decided to focus some of my energy into getting fit by doing the 947, it seemed a natural progression to raise donations for CHOC in the process. When I started, I was overwhelmed by people’s kindness, and truly thought that it was a once-off, given this terrible year we have endured. Then something clicked into place, and what started as a corporate challenge resulted in this amazing journey. Albie, Cordi, Rich, Grant, Robby and Steve …you guys have surpassed my wildest expectations … all the money you have raised will definitely be put to good use with CHOC. It has been fantastic to be part of something so awesome and I am sure it is one of those moments that get plenty of ‘air time’ in future gatherings.
Thanks so much, you guys are amazing.