Unexpected Inspiration

by bart on June 2, 2013

IforCommunity LogoA couple of days ago I thought about my friend Nadia (name changed for privacy reasons). We’ve been friends since my university days, but haven’t been in touch in the last few years. I decided to contact her and tell her about my 1100 km walk to Calgary to raise funds for underprivileged kids in Canada.

The first email back from her was an ‘out of office’ reply saying that she was on an extended leave of absence, so I thought she and her husband had another baby. That would be exciting. I wanted to congratulate her.

A few days later I received another email, this time from her personal account. I learned that she has had breast cancer, had surgery, and is now dealing with chemo therapy and everything else that comes with dealing with this nasty disease. The discovery of her ailment to the current treatment took only 6 months!

I was in the middle of a training session when I read her email. Lucky for me the participants were working on a group exercise, so when I sat down with a ghost-white face, few noticed. I didn’t know how to respond or what to say, so I replied by asking if I could call her on the phone. It’s not often that a professional speaker is left speechless.

I just finished talking on the phone with her.

Her positive attitude and the feeling of perseverance that I sensed made a huge impact on my determination to complete my 1100 km walk. I will be facing unknown and difficult challenges I’m sure, but nothing compared to what she is bravely taking on.

Her strength and determination are an inspiration to me, reminding me of things I thought of when I was lying in a hospital bed, waiting for surgery, after my car was hit and caught on fire, and my left hand was mangled, among other injuries.

In part I dedicate my walk to her positive attitude and to her successful and complete recovery. Tomorrow I will be participating in the Centenarian Shuffle in Stanley Park organized in part by Foot Solutions Vancouver, my footwear and orthotics sponsor.

My participation in the Shuffle is fully dedicated to Nadia’s complete recovery.

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