Dear friends and family, our lovely cousin, sister, daughter, mom, friend has passed away Sunday, February 9, 2014, morning in Germany! We will keep this page open for a while as the family need financial support in regard to all the steps that need to be taking to bring our Grace back to Canada, also to give some support to her children. Once again we thank you all for your support and please keep praying for Grace, her children and her family, we love you prima and you will be always in our hearts! .xoxoxoxo
Grace has just started a new journey. She is undergoing a cancer treatment in Germany for three weeks. WE have created this site to help her with the burden of trip expenses and daily life obstacles during this difficult times. Donations of any kind are more than Welcome!
This is her Story.
Finding the Courage to Thrive
It all started when I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of seven. My diagnosis was made on a whim at my baby brother's six-week follow up at the doctor's. From that point forward, food became the centre of my universe. From what to eat to when to eat it and what I had to do before I ate it became the all-consuming drama of my early years. Add a very controlling and not-so-gentle grandmother, my primary caretaker at the time, and a recipe for health and emotional issues was created.
My teenage years were volatile to say the least and at age 16 I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin's Lymphoma. At a time where my friends were going to dances and dating, I was going through my first experience with cancer treatment. Fortunately I was strong willed and came out fairly unscathed, or so I thought. I was wrong. 18 months later I had a recurrence and had to add eight months of chemotherapy to my resume. Even at this young age, I was already in tune with my spiritual awareness and I picked up a book that I still own today called Healing and the Mind by Bill Moyers.
For a period of time, about 10 years to be exact, I did okay. I went to college as a mature student and gained my diploma in both Accounting and Finance, landed myself a few excellent paying accounting positions, and married the first guy I could find to treat me the same as I was treated growing up. Despite the more than obvious red flags, I convinced myself that this was what I was worth. I had two pregnancies which brought me first my daughter, then my son.
There were a few good times during those years but those mostly included my children and the joy and love they brought to my life. My marriage was a rollercoaster from one day to the next. I put on weight with both my pregnancies and as much as I tried, I couldn't let it go. Food had become my comfort and my drug of choice.
Exactly two years after a very ugly attempt at separation and finally giving in and going back to my marriage, I found a lump in my breast. I was diagnosed this time with Stage 2 Breast Cancer. On my 37th birthday, I was in the hospital having my left breast removed.
I panicked as anyone would under these circumstances. The old saying, "three strikes and you're out" kept playing over and over in my head. However I refused to let this take me away from my children. During my six months of treatment, I read every book, took every wellness workshop and used every tool to help me heal not just my body but more importantly my spirit and mind.
I started working towards a diploma in Natural Nutrition and ran a daycare from my home. The children made sure that I remembered to laugh and play every single day and made my healing an adventure rather than a curse. I was reborn with empowerment and courage to face anything and anybody. The weight slowly began to drop off.
One day I decided I had enough. I took the children and whatever I could fit in my trunk and left for good, leaving everything I had worked so hard for behind. I stepped into an abyss of unknowns. Not knowing where or how I was going to live, whether I would ever see my kids again after visiting with their dad or how I was going to afford rent anywhere, let alone all the other expenses. From there we squeezed into my mom's two- bedroom condo, where the three of us shared one bedroom. Fear was the first thing on my mind. Could I do this?
From there we went to live at my Dad's townhouse for a few years and then shared a house with my Mom. I slipped into the everyday stress of working too long and too hard to pay the bills. In September 2012, I was told I had a new cancer in my right breast and had also spread to my lungs and skull; all this at exactly the same time my dear Aunt was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. She died right before Christmas.
The doctors took a wait and see attitude which allowed me the opportunity to try some alternative therapies. A rigorous and very expensive therapy of taking over 100 supplements per day managed to clear my lungs completely. I was feeling empowered and very hopeful.
Unfortunately, as the bills kept mounting and I was feeling normal again "“ I again pushed myself to work harder to try to stay on top of things. After all, I could.....I was feeling better and healthy again.
By September 2013, I had fallen off the band wagon and slowly let my strict regime slide downwards.
By December I was sicker than I'd ever been with what I thought could be Hepatitis since I had been working in a kitchen where they butchered meat every day. I also had a pain right where I knew my liver was. No hepatitis though; lesions on my liver.
So here I am again. Ready for another battle and hoping and praying to finally learn from my mistakes and put this all behind me but staying alive to benefit from it.
Everything I do is for my children Nicole and Michael. I want to be a grandmother and meet my grandchildren one day. I want to win this battle too so I can give others hope and show them that no matter how dire the situation is, there is always hope and miracles.
I make it very clear to everyone I meet, that we are all on a continuous learning journey. I do not have all the answers in fact, on a personal level I too continue to struggle. For me the struggle is different now and I understand that I am not perfect, that I am human and I am learning to love myself exactly for who I am. Many of us waste so much valuable time loving what we are not.
I am so grateful for the people that lovingly surround me, mentor me and continue showing me the abundant opportunities in life, helping others while enjoying success. My mission is to provide women with hope and healing. It is never too late. We are all strong but when we support each other, we are invincible!
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