Emily Wood, the newlywed who tragically lost her fight with cancer last weekend, has some things in common with one of Canada’s most beloved heroes.
The obvious comparisons to Terry Fox are that they were both in B.C. and both fighting valiant yet ultimately losing battles with this insidious disease.
They also both chose to do something vitally important to them, and others, in the final segment of their lives.
After testing his ability to run long distances at a foot race in Prince George, the young man from Port Coquitlam embarked on the Marathon of Hope.
Doctors had told him that strenuous physical exertion would shorten his life. His desire to raise awareness about cancer and funds to help other people fight the battle he was losing overcame all objections.
He painfully limped west, heading home to B.C. By Thunder Bay, cancer had spread so much that he had to abandon his quest, dying a short time later.
Emily dreamed of marrying Shawn, her sweetheart of nine years. Thanks to astounding support from many generous and kind-hearted people, their dream wedding happened July 3, only 10 days after she was given just three to 12 months to live.
Emily, suffering from an aggressive lymphoma, deteriorated shortly after the wedding and a mini-honeymoon, passing away less than two weeks later.
She died knowing she was married to the man she loved. Cancer took much from her, but it could not prevent the joy she felt from that.
Shawn is carrying on with the memories of his courageous wife and the knowledge that he, too, married his soulmate.
Not one to wallow in denial, Shawn is admirably going to create the Emily Ann Foundation, which will help others facing the challenges Emily encountered.
If you want to help, a fundraiser and celebration of life for Emily will happen Aug. 15 at the Mex Pub in Courtenay. Half of the proceeds will go to the foundation and the other half will go to the Canadian Cancer Society.