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June 19, 2009

Celebrate, Remember, Fight Back: My Friend Roni

4721_115057295729_528035729_3269529_5204905_nThree words - three affirmations – that perfectly describe the way my friend Veronica (Roni) lives her life every day: celebrate life to its absolute fullest, keep your spirit strong and fight the battles that park themselves at your doorstep and, as you make your way through life, never ever forget LOVE and FAITH.

Now more then ever before, however, Roni – who laughingly and, all would agree (especially her husband Brian! HaHa!), accurately calls herself a stubborn Irish broad with the red hair to prove it (does “fight back’ make a little more sense now?!) – is drawing on her personal strength, love of friends & family and passion for life…

My friend Roni is battling Cancer

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And she’s battling HARD! Go Roni!!

In honour of Roni’s fight – and in recognition of the fight that so many people in our communities face (heck, I’m talking about you, me and the people we love!!) – I’m encouraging DesignTies readers to be as Hooked on Cancer Research Fundraising as Roni is!!

How hooked is she??… Pretty damned hooked!!

Before going any further I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Julia at Hooked on Houses for hosting her wonderful weekly Hooked on Fridays blog party – I’m so grateful to be able to promote the importance of Cancer Research Fundraising ALL WHILE sharing just a little about Roni. Cheers Julia!!

A little about Roni… in point form ;-)

  • Roni is a “proud 55!!!”
  • She has three kids: Shannon-26, Meghan-24 and Patrick-22
  • Meghan and her husband have a son, Ryan, and they’re having another baby soon. That means Roni is a happy Grandma!!
  • Roni met her husband Brian 5 years ago
  • Brian has 2 boys: CW and Matt
  • One of Brian’s boys (I’m not sure which one) has 2 young daughters – more grandkids!! :-)

I first met Roni about 5 years ago when she was hired into my office, but we connected around the remodel of my condo’s kitchen… you see, Roni’s kitchen had recently (at the time) been remodelled too, so we had fun sharing photos of our transformations.

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Roni loves her kitchen, and you can see why! Lovely detailing on the cabinet doors, a beautiful granite counter, cork floors under foot and one of Roni’s favourite elements, a great marble backsplash. And, to rhyme with “why”… pie. It was my gift to her and her family when she had me over for a visit the other week!! Yum!!!

There’s one feature in her kitchen that is PERFECT for her… a wine fridge

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You see… ever since going to Europe in 1981 Roni has been crazy about wines, so much so that she’s taken Sommelier training completing Level 1 in June 2007 and Level 2 in February 2008. Believe me when I say that she knows her wines! I remember watching on the news that the government liquor store had sourced out and was selling a very special burgundy (I think it was), and sure enough Roni stood in that long line and purchased a few bottles for herself!

And me, being the bumpkin that I am, accidently spilled my delectable glass of wine on the lawn of Roni’s beautiful garden. Geesh! :-) Roni’s garden IS lovely… I hope you’ll take a moment to scroll through this album showcasing many of the lovely flowers she’s growing in her yards.

On the day I visited her, Roni told me that she’d recently planted 150 gladiola bulbs! I’m definitely going to have to return to her garden later in the summer to take a photo of all those glads swaying in Roni’s breeze-filled and sun-kissed garden!!

Roni is a Fighter… but more importantly, Roni is a Survivor…

…a survivor of Breast Cancer

About 6 years ago Roni was diagnosed with breast cancer and her treatment included a mastectomy.

Then, after 5 years cancer-free… last fall… Roni learned that her breast cancer had metastasized into her lungs. Treatment this time was more aggressive – chemotherapy. Before chemo could take all of her hair, she and her family had a head shaving party!!

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I really like this photo of Roni – her positive attitude and determined spirit are so evident!!

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If I’m not mistaken (and if I am, she’ll correct me!), Roni has been involved in Cancer Research Fundraising for a few years now… only this year’s activities, as you can well imagine, have taken on a new meaning to her, her family and friends!

Allow me to introduce you to the Country Dancing Boobies!!

4721_115057145729_528035729_3269502_234527_n Important Translations:

  • A dancing boobie is a bird native to the Galapagos Islands
  • Roni likes country music!

Here in Canada the Canadian Cancer Society hosts the “Relay for Life” in communities across the country. This wonderful event is all about celebrating cancer survivors, remembering loved ones lost to cancer, and fighting back in the hope of finding a cure for this terrible disease. Familiar words? Celebrate. Remember. Fight Back.

In Roni’s community – Coquitlam – the annual Relay for Life was held on June 6th with members taking turns walking and walking and walking… from 10am to 10pm. That’s a lot of walking! Prior to the event teams worked hard to generate a lot of fundraising dollars through activities like hot dog sales (well… I know that this was at least ONE of the things Roni did).

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I’m so proud to report that Roni and her team raised $4,690.19!!!!!

Roni tells me that the Coquitlam event is one of the largest and most successful each year, and this year was no exception… the community raised $635,000 for cancer research!!

Let me share more photos of the event…

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4721_115056875729_528035729_3269460_8126159_n This first lap is called the “Survivor’s Lap” and usually hosts about 150 cancer survivors with their caregivers. So inspiring!!

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Congratulation Roni and team Country Dancing Boobies for such a wonderful, successful day!

Now… what can you do?

Contact your local Cancer Agency to learn about upcoming fundraisers. Get involved!! Donate money… and then donate some more! It’s so important!!

Also… ALWAYS take preventative action so you don’t get cancer. If you have a daughter, take her to your family physician for an HPV vaccination shot! Have regular mammograms!! If you’re a man over 40, get your prostate checked! Always use sun screen!! Take care of yourself FOR yourself and FOR your loved ones/friends.DSC01830

Thanks to Roni for allowing me to showcase her, her lovely home, her battle with cancer AND her commitment to fundraising for cancer research. It will be because of dedicated individuals like Roni that we will – one day – find a cure for cancer!!

Roni has me hooked on Cancer Research Fundraising… how about you?!

Victoria from Edin Interiors

28 comments:

amariaf2000 said...

AMAZING post!! Roni is a awesome lady! My mother in law is a survivor as well! These women ROCK!
Our "Relays for Life" just happpened within the past month! It's very big here in the States as well!

~angela @ peonypatch

Maria Killam said...

Very inspiring woman and such a great way you told the story!

Michelle said...

What a warm post! My sister is also involved in Cancer research, and I donate yearly...a great support network indeed :)

They aren't just numbers, they are stories and famillies and love.

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

What a fantastic post.

I will put out good thoughts and prayers for you all. sometimes its the friends and loved ones who really need the extra prayers.

TTFN~~Claudia

Christy said...

What a warm post. My husband is a cancer researcher...he and his lab (and many others around the world of course) are totally dedicated to eradicating this disease during our lifetime. I hope Roni recovers and heals quickly...great post Victoria!

Elite Home Decor said...

What an absolutely amazing Woman your friend Roni is! Her attitude is sure inspiration!

Struggler said...

Go, Roni!
We're cheering for you.

Gayle said...

I'll be sending healing thoughts to Roni!

mrsben said...

Sending my sincere wishes to Roni for a VICTORY! She is a very courageous woman.
-Brenda-

Meghan said...

Amazing article Victoria!! My mom (Roni) is a true fighter :)... I cried reading the article-maybe because of the pregnancy hormones but more than likely because I am able to see the love and support my Mom has through friends and family like you!!!!

DesignTies said...

Go Roni!!!! You can beat this thing!!!!! :-)

Kelly

Anonymous said...

This is one of my contributions to Roni's blog site http://roniscancerjourney.blogspot.com/.


The Chemo Warrior

It is not a woman with a bald head! It is a Chemo Warrior!! One who proudly displays the lack of hair as her personal hard won Badge of Honour. It is a woman who, on a daily basis, looks death in the eye and spits. On a daily basis she faces metastatic cancer with courage and with dignity. How does she do it day after day? Easy, she has a huge support team behind her! A friendly voice, a warm hug, some share tears other share the laughter, some offer a soft shoulder others a kick in the butt. All have some offering to give. Keep the team alive! If you visit this blog leave a message. Just a short comment will do. Anything that lets our warrior know she is not alone and just as importantly lets the other Team Roni members know they are part of a greater force. Every part of the team is important ...a machine does not function if even small parts are missing.

Brian

BEATING CANCER IS A TEAM SPORT...GET ON A TEAM.

DesignTies said...

Meghan... Brian... thank you so much for commenting on my Roni post. It was such a privledge to showcase your wonderful Mom/Wife in this way... for the world to see!!

Brian = My apologies for neglecting to include Roni's blog address in the post!!

Future commenters = Consider copying the above link and visiting Roni's blog!!

All other commenters = My heart is warmed by your lovely and supportive comments for Roni and cancer research! Thank you!

Victoria

Annie T, Queensland, Australia said...

Victoria you rock. So does Roni by the way, but I already knew that.
Thank you so much.

Shea said...

Roni's courage is inspiring! Thanks for sharing!
~another red-headed Irish broad

Lynne said...

What a beautiful tribute to such a deserving lady! So nicely done - I enjoyed every bit of it. Love your kitchen, complete with wine fridge Roni!! This is great Victoria, well done!
Cheers to Roni - she's pretty darn special!!
Healing thoughts to you always...

Jasmine @ The Suburban Sentiment said...

Lovely post! I think the money raised for cancer research and support is fantastic. We always make it a point at work to support, and encourage everyone to support, the Australia's Biggest Morning Tea (organised by The Cancer Council). It's definitely a worthwhile cause.

It's true: every dollar counts in the fight against cancer.

Keep it up, Roni. And thanks for sharing this, Victoria!

Lara Harris said...

Wonderful post!My God-mother fought and won against breast cancer...keep the faith Roni!You are in my prayers!:o)

Awesome Sara said...

Roni is my hero. I donated my hair to cancer kids and how funny that I read this post and I got a letter saying thanks for my hair. This is such a heart warming post. Thanks for sharing.

Dumbwit Tellher ♥ said...

Roni & people like her around our world continue to inspire me. Since my mom's cancer diagnosis one yr ago this month, life has changed in so many ways. Give her a hug from me & tell her that I am so impressed with her courageous fight & attitude. That goes for her whole family too. You are a true champion for writing her story & sharing it with us all.

Go Roni!

Anonymous said...

When Roni told me that there will be an article about her and her battle, I never imagined such a well written story!

I have lost many friends and family thru cancer! One very close friend, only a week ago!

I wish they would have had the spirit, energy and motivation and the will to keep going like Roni does!

I think everyone who knows Roni, and has read this article about her, knows there is lots more to come from this "stubborn Irish broad"!

I am looking forward to it :0)

Go for it Roni!!!!!!

Jasmin and Joerg

Anonymous said...

What an amazing way to share Roni's story.... All of us who know and love her can certainly attest to her strength and courage in fighting back against this horrible disease. I am a proud member of Team Roni, and was privileged to be on the Country Dancing Boobies Team... Roni, you are an amazing inspiration as I have said countless times before.... Be assured of our love and support!
Rae and Wilkie

Velvet and Linen said...

What an inspiring post, Victoria. Roni's strength is amazing.
Leila and I participated in the Avon Run/Walk last year with a group of moms and daughters. It was one of the most moving experiences of my life.
Thank you for introducing us to your courageous friend.

xo
Brooke

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic blog. Anyone who knows Roni can see that this describes her perfectly! I feel genuinely blessed to have met such an amazing person with a truly inspiring attitude. Stay strong Roni, and nothing can stop you. All my best wishes!

-L.

Roni said...

I just want to say thank you to Victoria for writing this article - we had fun talking about it in my back yard! And thank you for all the warm and wonderful posts - especially from my family and friends - means a great deal to me!

I will be updating my blog on Thursday, after seeing the oncologist and having chemo.

Again, thanks Victoria - and yes, you will have to come over to see the glads all in full bloom!!!

xoxox
Roni

Anonymous said...

As usual,Roni gives so much inspiration to others fighting the cause and praying for a cure.
I "met" my friend through Facebook, almost 2 years ago and she continues to amaze me with her wonderful spirit and sense of humour.
Go girl Go!!
I continue to follow your progress and pictures on FB and we do Chat once in a blue moon when the time difference allows!
Loads of love,from Sandy.(England)

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

This is such an inspiring post. Go, Roni! We're all rooting for you. :-)

Vancouver Midget B said...

WOW, that's a story. My mom is a breast cancer surviver also - yes, I'm hooked too. Keep fighting, keep writing and keep fund raising so that one day we won't have to any longer.
Peace and Love,
Deena

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