Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Shona's story

I'd like to interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to appeal to your charitable nature. Very dear friends of mine have been working hard to raise funds for their caregiver and friend, Shona. In May of this year, Shona was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer, and following her treatment, she will likely be unable to work for at least a year. My friends are doing what they can to help out by raising funds and raising awareness, and telling you about it seemed like the very least I could do.

Event 1 - Garage Sale

When: Saturday, September 16th from 7:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Where: 26-28 Jackman Terrace in Kanata (close to the Kanata Leisure Centre)

“Everyone is invited to drop by – there’ll be coffee and goodies, lots of items for purchase, and a small raffle for a $25 gift certificate at Tommy’s Restaurant, a Hershey’s Chocolate Shoppe gift basket, and a one-hour massage with Bruce Ford at Absolute Massage Therapy.”

Event 2 – CIBC Run for the Cure

When: Sunday, October 1st at 9:00 a.m.

Where Parliament Hill

Be a part of the team by joining “Shona’s Friends”. Please register at www.cibcrunforthecure.com.

Donations to Account: 003 - 00726 - 5083506 at the RBC Royal Bank, 360 March Road, Kanata, K2K 2T5.

I've put the rest of Shona's story below the fold, but do take a minute to read it and if you can help, please do.

Shona’s Story

My wife and I first met Shona while interviewing potential daycare providers for our daughter, Amelia. We had diligently set up a series of interviews with potential candidates, of which we were about halfway through, and we were already beginning to despair that we would never be comfortable with any choice.

Then we interviewed Shona. We were a little apprehensive from previous interviews; however, Shona’s warmth, experience and chemistry with the children already in her care instantly set us at ease. We sat on her basement floor and talked while the children played around us; Shona stopping once or twice to read a story or redirect play. It was obvious the children adored Shona, but the real surprise was watching Amelia smiling as she joined the others and began to play along.

Over the next six months, we adapted to our new routine and Shona’s home became an extension of our own. Each morning all the children would excitedly accompany Shona to the front door to welcome us with a toy for each of Amelia’s tiny hands. I am still amazed at how the children took care of each other and learned things from one another, thriving in the security and happiness of her home. Shona’s own two children Cassandra, 11, and Gavin, 7, also generously shared their home and mother: eager to lend a helping hand anyway they could. Often we would arrive at the end of the day to find the children all playing together with Cassandra affectionately watching over like a protective mother lion and Gavin entertaining; always willing to perform any stunt to elicit a giggle from his adoring audience.

On May 31st of 2006 Shona was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. The oncologist has told her that it is unlikely she will be able to work for at least a year, possibly longer, while she undergoes an extensive treatment and recovery program. Anyone who knows Shona knows that she is more comfortable giving to others than receiving herself; but, as a self-employed single mother she will be forced to rely heavily on government assistance, private charities and the kindness of friends to help keep her household going.

When I think about the service that Shona has provided to our families and community, working as a caregiver or part time with the Children’s Aid Society, it seems appropriate that the community return the same care to her in her time of need. Without the essential work of people like Shona, the rest of us wouldn’t be able to work and support our own families. This past week, Shona was presented with a quilt put together by her friends as a symbol of our love and support; however, we also realise that Shona needs to focus on getting well without the stress of financial uncertainty. With this in mind the group has planned several events in order to raise money to assist Shona and contribute towards the national community efforts to find a cure for this disease that has affected so many people’s lives.