Courtney joined our Yoga to Conquer Cancer committee back in 2016 and is now an integral member of our WellFest committee. She was excited to move with us this year in honour of her mother, Lisa, who lost a battle with pancreatic cancer at 49 –– just nine short months after diagnosis.
Lisa loved her family more than anything and always found the most joy when they were together; celebrating the holidays, attending events and weddings or squeezing in a quick trip to Disney! She had a love for fashion and never stopped giving, "she was so positive," says Courtney. "The kind of person who brought cookie trays to every chemo appointment and always offered rides to the friends she made along the way."
There is no way of finding out if Courtney has the gene responsible for the cancer that took her mother but she knows that physical exercise is vital to aging well, lowering stress levels and staying healthy. It doesn’t matter if it’s biking, yoga or pilates, she encourages everybody to "find what you love to do and move."
She loves that WellFest continues to build on its foundation of yoga to include such a wide range of activity like walk, run and spin and is looking forward to kicking things off next year. "You’ll be able to sweat it out on the ride, release any feelings of anger against cancer and find gratitude. Everyone here will support you. It’s a safe place where we can all come together to fight against a global illness that takes the people we love most."
Courtney says it doesn’t matter where you live, by supporting The Princess Margaret you are supporting one of the top five cancer research centres in the world. "They are at the forefront of innovation and they will continue to lead the way in treatment" and urges others to get to know their bodies too "Don’t wait until something is wrong to get to know yourself. By looking inward, you become more aware, you can quickly identify when something is wrong," she said.
Her advice? If something feels "off" go check it out, that is the first step. Even if the outlook sounds grim, that doesn’t mean it will be "if you believe in yourself, others will too," she says.
And like Lisa, never, ever give up.
Published July 16, 2020