Monday, November 27, 2017

Dedicate A Dove and Give Hope Wings #DovesOfHope #spon

I've always enjoyed a very close extended family, and I grew up spending many hours in the company of my cousins, and second cousins too, for that matter. My cousin Ann-Marie was a particularly good friend, as we lived in the same city and were less than a year apart in age. I spent a lot of time with her, and my younger brother spent a lot of time with her younger brother. I have fond memories of family dinners, lots of sleepovers, and even babysitting together in our early teens.

Ann-Marie was a treasure - smart, kind, caring, and with a gorgeous singing voice. In our twenties, our grandfather became quite ill, and eventually bedridden. She washed him and cared for him like I never could. She was an amazing young woman.

Ann-Marie was married in the summer of 1996, bought a home with her new husband, and soon gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. Then my darling cousin died of stomach cancer in November 1998. She was 29 years old.

It's still hard to believe that she's really gone. I can't begin to imagine the grief felt by her parents. It's just not right to bury your child, but cancer took her from them. From all of us. Cancer took her away from her young son, who grew up with only stories of his mother, who loved him so much. Ann-Marie was really just beginning to live her life. Cancer is a jerk.

Today, I dedicated a dove to Ann-Marie, in the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation's Doves of Hope campaign. This campaign is now in its 17th year, and the Foundation hopes to raise even more awareness and funds this year, with a goal to surpass the $1 million raised in 2016. Every dollar raised will help the researchers at Princess Margaret in their goal to Conquer Cancer in Our Lifetime

Along with raising funds to support this critical research, the visibility of the doves presents an inspiring display of hope for patients and their families. Each dove dedicated in memory of a loved one lost to cancer represents one person, their unique journey, and the impact their life had on those around them. You can easily dedicate a digital dove at and contribute to this beautiful display online. Choose a pre-made design, or create one of your own, add your loved one's name, and even a brief story if you wish. And while you are there, be sure to view some of the the more than 7000 doves already giving hope digital wings.

My dove for my cousin
If you are in Toronto on December 13, you are invited to attend the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation #DovesOfHope ceremony, at 11:30 a.m., in the 7th floor Atrium. Princess Margaret Cancer Centre is located at 610 University Ave., Toronto. At this ceremony, all of the paper doves that have been dedicated will be displayed. I expect it will be a moving event, and I expect to shed a few tears.

You can join this campaign by making a monetary donation and/or by dedicating a dove in honour of someone special whom cancer has taken from you. Visit for more information.

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own or those of my family.

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