Updated: Apr 17, 2020
They say that the best things in life are unexpected. I believe that. In fact, throughout my 26 years of existence so far, I have noticed that it is the people that you meet along the way that are the most pleasant surprises.
On a Thursday in January, I unexpectedly met someone that truly marked me. That night, I had the honour of speaking to an audience of mostly student from the University of Ottawa about my journey with Valérie's Flutter Foundation and how I balanced that with life as a
student. The room was full of energy and spirits were uplifted by the lineup of inspirational TED Talk style speakers. After the talks, there was a nice reception where everyone could mingle and chat. Almost immediately, someone tapped me on the shoulder.
Nicole had a big smile but I could tell she was carrying something heavy with her. She thanked me for the talk and shared an emotional story... About a six months ago, her fiancé was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer called Sarcoma. He had just asked her to marry him a couple of months before the diagnosis. I know Sarcoma all too well through Valérie's battle, so I know she wasn't optimistic. She told me how she spent hours on the Internet trying to find information about treatments, survival rates, and even research being conducted for Sarcoma. Unfortunately, there wasn't much. She was desperate and had run out of hope. But what she said next made me feel so proud of what my sister created and what Valérie's Flutter Foundation is doing. "After listening to you talk about the research that you're supporting, I feel so relieved and hopeful that there are people here in Ottawa doing something about Sarcoma". Nicole added "I can't wait to tell my fiancé." We hugged it out.
It was unexpected. It made my day. I saw her fear turn into hope. It made me realize that when you give to cancer research, you are not only helping science move forward. You are sending a message to those that need to hear it most... "We are with you."