I want to share a story with you, and then my request for you to dare greatly with me.
I was chatting with a treasured friend this past Tuesday afternoon, she works in law enforcement and has been battling breast cancer. When she was first diagnosed, we were on the verge of the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I asked how I could best support her, seeing as I could not be there in person. Just check in with me daily, send me something wickedly funny (we share a very dark sense of humour), and stand with me at a distance. Done. Before we settled in for a chat, she received the phone call she had been waiting for – her surgeon called, all results were in, everything was removed in surgery, no further surgery or radiation required, she had an all clear. Great news! But, with physical distancing still in place, we couldn’t celebrate this as we would have wanted, with hugs, happy dances, and laughter. Just then, my Sis, Nat, tweeted this:
“We cannot celebrate your news in person, but we can pay it forward. Whaddaya say we lift this GoFundMe up and help them reach their goal?”
“LET’S DO IT!!”
I texted Nat, “Sis, can you tell me a bit about Andrea?” Nat replied that she recalled Andrea from her early days on the job, and whenever she saw her, Andrea is kindness, a positive personality, and a happy soul who cares for every person she meets. Perfect, Andrea reminded me of the paramedics I’ve encountered throughout the years. Theirs is a profession with large amounts of heart and soul.
I looked at the GoFundMe – #We’veGotYourBack&Front911! Help Andrea Fight! and after nearly a month, they were making good progress, but I thought, how can we get them to their goal and take one thing off of their plate? I know, let’s ask some people with a good following on Twitter for a signal boost.
Let’s get this in front of as many sets of eyes as we can. I know everyone is struggling, but, there must be those who are able to contribute, either by sharing, or by donating. This ask and a few more tweets and we took a seat to see if we caused any movement.
After two days of watching the GoFundMe page, it had moved a little bit, but not what I was hoping for.
I do know of someone in the Greater Toronto Area who has a big Twitter following. He is always the first in line whenever help is needed.
Wait, I thought, he doesn’t know me at all, we had briefly seen each other at one of those meet and greet things a few years ago. Oh, quit dawdling woman, you just read Dr. Brené Brown’s books, Daring Greatly and Dare To Lead … just step into this, dare greatly and see what happens.
I made an ask of the CEO of Paramount Fine Foods, Mr. Mohamad Fakih.
Had I blinked, I would have missed his response, it came quickly:
True to his nature, Mr. Fakih not only gave this a signal boost, but he gave a generous donation ($2,000) to help reach the target! Amazing! Each time I refreshed the page, the numbers had gone up, as everyone who liked his tweet also donated. Yes, Andrea definitely is a full hero, what Nat had told me proved that.
Time to get busy on my side, let’s get this GoFundMe in front of as many eyes as I can. We need, as Canadians, as a connected community, to engage in some big-time caremongering here and help ease the burden while this young mom battles Triple Negative Breast Cancer. Add in the conditions and restrictions during a pandemic, and it makes her battle that much harder. Whatever we can do would be great.
By Friday afternoon there had been some donations, but we would not reach the goal by 5pm, and Mr. Fakih tweeted one more ask:
You see, this one is personal. Not only has my friend celebrated her success in her battle with breast cancer, but another friend & colleague of mine went through it last year. One thing I was sure of, if anyone would kick cancer in the ass and send it packing, it would be Meaghan. I missed her terribly while she was in her battle, and was thrilled to the core to see her return to work. We went for a quick lunch, laugh, and talk a mile a minute to get caught up. My late mom was another warrior in the breast cancer fight. She was like my friend this week, surgery caught it all for her, thankfully. She kicked it squarely in the ass and sent it scurrying away defeated.
In my world view, paramedics are a particularly special kind of people. When needed, they come running; highly trained professionals who are focused on doing what is the best for their patient. When I asked my Sis, Nat, to tell me about Andrea, this Paramedic and Mom, I could see everyone I have known who has been in this battle.
Folks, here’s the link:
My ask to all of you: to dare greatly with me, and share this link everywhere that you can. The greater the number of people who see this, the better. Let’s put our Canadian Caremongering skills that we have learned during lockdown to good use.
This Paramedic and mom has looked after the people of York Region for many years. Let us surround Andrea & her family with love, and show them that all of us, together, have got her back.
As Captain Tom Moore reminds us, “tomorrow will be a good day.”
Love, sunbeams, and kitten dreams.