canadian cancer society logo with yellow daffodils

Student Ambassadors do the Daffodil Dash

I’m a Student Ambassador with the Office for New Students and I’m excited that we’re volunteering and participating at the Canadian Cancer Society’s Daffodil Dash on April 24. The event will raise funds for cancer research. You should join us; it’s an awesome way to end the semester!

Fundraising events like these make me happy because so many students have lost relatives or have loved ones who are currently fighting, or have conquered the disease.

In April 2013, my dad passed away from pancreatic cancer. He had been in hospice previously for about a month. During that time my mom visited every day, and my sister and I went all the time after school. My sister and I were in grade 11 when this happened. As a 16 year-old, still a kid, it felt like his terminal illness wasn’t real. From when we first got his diagnosis, to when he was going through chemotherapy, to when he was in hospice, a part of me thought he was going to be fine. Even after his passing, it continued to feel surreal. He had been away from home for so long I hate to say it almost felt normal. However, sporadic occasions make it feel real, like when I attend a wedding and see the bride have her father-daughter dance. Or if I’m setting the table for dinner and grab four plates instead of three. Even simple things, like scrolling through my Instagram feed and seeing a friend’s post about their dad’s birthday.

Although this has been the hardest thing my family has gone through, we’ve made some happy memories, believe it or not. My sister and I have made connections with other students at Douglas who have gone through the same thing, and those friendships have been a source of lots of happy memories. Also, thinking back to when he was in palliative care, there was so much love in that room. My dad’s friends and all of our family visited often and shared stories about him that had us all laughing until we cried.

At my dad’s memorial service there were tons of donations to the Canadian Cancer Society in his name, and if anything good came out of this unfortunate event, I’m glad to know that these contributions will help other people battle this disease.

I will definitely running at the Daffodil Dash on April 24, and I hope to see you there too!

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