Because We Can!
I have accepted the challenge to raise funds in support of Ronald McDonald House BC and Yukon.
By sponsoring US at Thalassa Restaurant, Olivia Davis and Georgios Bourodemos BOTH SURVIORS! you help to provide accommodation and support for sick kids and their families when they must travel to Vancouver for life-saving treatment. The new Ronald McDonald House BC and Yukon, opened in 2014, can serve 73 families each night, so they need our support more than ever!
Our Story ... my nephew Georgios was diagnosed with Luekemia when he was 2 years old, as the family lived in Ladysmith.
April 2001, Leukemia, the news come with an agony every family dreads. And for Georgios Bourodemos, age 2 … the news is just devastating to his family.
Family rushing from the island to a ferry, family in Vancouver, waiting on the other end … unknown fears as a family and friends wait on the specialists to run tests and get more information.
Mr. and Mrs. Bourodemos, your son has the best type of Leukemia, if you were to get Cancer, this is the one that you would want. The words still echo in my sister in laws ears.
The days pass into weeks, the weeks into months, good news and bad news, but the end in near and REMISSION are the happiest words that we hear! Georgios is in Remission and coming home. Ready for school and CANCER FREE!
2008 … Georgios is ready to give back to everyone who supported him. He has decided to shave his head and raise $10,000. for Tour de Rock! With the support of his uncle Demetrios they two of them start their journey of growing out their hair.
Georgios, you are a role model to all of us, we thank you for all that you have taught us and for EVERYTHING that you are giving back.
BY: OLIVIA DAVIS - Cancer Survior
In December, 2013 I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia,
which is a type of blood cancer. When the doctor first told me, I had
cancer, it kinda felt like a joke. I actually laughed a little as I thought to
myself. “There was no way an athlete like me, could be that sick”, but I was definitely that sick.
Cancer had taken over 84 % of my bone marrow. Starting chemotherapy
right away, was the only thing that could save my life. During my course of
treatment, I was given 10 different kinds of chemotherapy drugs. It was a
scary thought for me... knowing that underneath a few layers of skin, I had
toxic chemicals swimming through my veins, trying to kill the monster, that
was attempting to take over my life.
It was not until my own life was threatened, that I realized how short life
really is. My whole life had changed in the blink of an eye….. It was that
quick. Just like that….part of my youth faded away.
I spent the first month of my treatment in Children’s hospital, in a room with
a bed……... in a corner with no window. I lost 10 pounds and was
experiencing all sorts of side effects from the chemotherapy. I had intense
joint pain and muscle weakness. I developed mouth sores and suffered
daily with fatigue, nausea and sometimes brutal headaches. I had gone
from being a muscular athlete, to barely being able to walk a ½ a block
without feeling like I had just run a mile.
My treatment included over 100 doses of IV chemotherapy and I took up to
33 pills every week. I’ve spent a lot of time in the hospital over the past
couple of years and have had more needles than I care to count. I have
had 5 blood transfusions, 2 minor surgeries and 2 biopsies. Throughout it
all, I’ve worked hard to keep positive. , but it wasn’t always easy.
I think the lowest point in my treatment was when I was unable to walk
because I was in so much pain. I spent a few days in a wheelchair, trying
to get around. At that time, I felt very weak, scared, lonely and depressed.
That is also when I lost all of my hair. Not only was I completely bald, but I
was feeling defeated. I was facing the biggest struggle in my life. Ultimately, this struggle also led me to a turning point. In that darkest time, I realized, I can either let this destroy me or I can let this strenthen me. I chose to let my experience strengthen me.
I realized that the only thing stopping me from doing what I wanted to
do….was myself. I learned that in order to succeed, I was going to have to
push myself out of my comfort zone and just do it.
First….I stopped focusing on the words “impossible” and “I can’t”..... and in
doing so, realized “impossible” and I can’t ….didn’t exist….
When I had thought it would be impossible to play hockey during
treatment….I did it. My redemption was my first time back on the ice 9
months into my chemo treatment. I don’t know what it was…
maybe the feeling of my thin, weak legs underneath my heavy goalie pads.
Maybe it was the fact that everyone could skate, but I was finding it hard
just to keep my balance. Whatever it was...It lit a fire inside of me that never burned out for a second after that. As soon as my skates touched the ice, my mind immediately said "This is your time." "Show the world what you are made of."
My positive journey began then and there, and my goal throughout the rest
of my treatment was to show people that life still goes on….even after a
That is why you would find me back on the ice and in the gym just a day
after chemo. Did it wear me out??? Yeah….of course it did. . It was hard to
breath at times and I usually felt nauseous afterwards...but it kept me
determined and it kept me strong. I have played hockey for the past two
seasons while still undergoing chemotherapy treatment.
Cancer was a chapter in my life that lasted for 835 days. Cancer is NOT
who I am. It is just something that happened to me. It is behind me now, but somehow I think it will always be in the back of my mind.
It is the hardest thing I have ever gone through in my life and it is also the
thing that EMPOWERED me to face fear , find courage and become
stronger than I have ever been.
The fact of the matter is….every single one of us in this room will face
challenges and difficult times throughout our lives. Whether you are
dealing with your own health issues, going through a breakup or failing
classes at school. Maybe you have a problem with drugs or alcohol or
maybe your parents are getting divorced. When you are feeling stuck
and overwhelmed by something that is happening in your life, it is
important to know that you have the ability to overcome anything you put your mind to. The question is....when the going gets tough, will you have it in you, to dig deep and find your way to the other side of adversity?
Those little voices in your head...what you subconsciously say to yourself,
can make or break your situation. You have to accept what you are facing.
You must keep positive and believe in yourself. If you don’t...nothing will
change. I’ll be the first to admit, it might not be easy at times, but it is possible if you are willing to hang in there and do the work. From my own experience, I can tell you that the only person standing in your way is you. You have the power to overcome whatever you are facing. And really, when you think about it... you owe it to yourself to get back on track and live your life to its full potential. Not only will you be empowered by every obstacle you overcome...you will be a stronger person because of it.
What we do ... In honour of these fighters, I shaved my head for tour de rock, We raised $25,000 in one day with the help of our local rider in Oceanside. Not a bad feet for a small town.
It is our heart felt Thank you that we pass on, as we are the blessed families of surviors, and we thank you for your support over the years! BECAUSE we CAN, we are giving back to RHM BC Yukon!
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