Before we even got to the Rock for a Cure concerts, we knew that we were in for something special. We weren’t disappointed.
The event was planned in support of Kelly Tessier by her husband Paul and her son Owen. In 2013, Kelly was diagnosed with stage two, grade three triple negative breast cancer. After undergoing bilateral mastectomies and 5 months of chemotherapy, the cancer returned. The diagnosis was terminal.
The way that the entire town got behind the Tessier family was awesome. The music was amazing and people were enjoying themselves no matter where we looked.
Then, something even more remarkable happened. The Tessier Family got up on stage and Kelly delivered an incredible speech. She sent us her notes so that we could share the speech with people that couldn’t be at the event.
The purpose of Rock For A Cure is to acknowledge the Cancer Center in Sudbury, and to raise funds for those on the front lines meeting fear in the face when someone walks through their doors. They truly are a brilliant team, and we are so fortunate to have them close by.
The warmth and strength that surround you upon walking through their door is beyond words. They are the people who know what you need before you know what you need. We’ve said from the beginning that the Cancer Center feels like a warm, nurturing embrace. We knew we weren’t fighting alone, but we had no idea of the magnitude of strength and the brilliance of science that we had in our corner. While there, we have had the privilege of meeting people from all walks of life – from old to very young. And I can tell you that every one of these people were full to the brim of life.
We knew nothing about the journey we were about to start, and the unknown was daunting, but we were met at the doors with the knowledge that we were taken care of. Completely. Every question (we had a lot) was answered. Every worry was snuffed out. We were, and continue to be surrounded by hope, truth, happiness, and most importantly love. They are on the front lines of our army. And everyone who steps up to this disease has one.
The fear when first stepping up to the reality of this disease was a blow. How big it seems, how scary it seems, and how death looms from it’s presence. Cancer wants you to think that by sending a death sentence it has won. But it never wins. You see, we knew cancer was going to lose – because cancer is a liar, and we have an army.
Cancer is a liar. It lies to you every minute of the day. It tells you there is no hope. It tells you that you cannot go on, and it tells you that you are not strong enough. It lies. It instills fear, anxiety, and despair if you let it. It tries to confuse you. It visits your loved ones and friends in the form of anger, worry, and helplessness. It told us that it will be my demise; that it will defeat me, and just when we thought it may be delivering truth, in walks our army.
You are our army – every single one of you. And every ounce of love in your heart is what keeps the lies that cancer spreads away. You keep us going. You keep us growing, and you keep the light, truth, and logic in our corner. Your prayers, thoughts, knowledge, hope, and inspiration is the truth here. And with that, there is no room for cancer’s deceit and lies.
We have tried to share what we have learnt throughout this journey so far, and the single most important piece of information that we have learnt, is that the people around us are the ones who are our teachers. That is the lesson I believe.
You are teaching us how to love through this; how to hope through this, and if you look around, you will see that you have taught us how to make this journey beautiful. How blessed are we? We are totally, inequitably, completely blessed.
So you see, we’ve already won. We’ve won by listening to you, and running with love instead of fear. We’ve won by stomping on the lies that cancer tries to tell and instead listening to the truth of our army; that we can hope through this, that we can spread the “good” around, and that we can most importantly love through this.
To stand up here and say thank you, just seems too small of a word. It’s not enough of a come back for everything you’ve taught us – and continue to teach us. So I will say this and hope that it resonates somewhere within you: By being who you are, by doing what you have done, you have taught us how to love. You have given us the greatest blessing there is known to man, and we promise you – every single one of you, that it will NEVER ever be forgotten.
It doesn’t matter what kind of diagnosis is thrown our way, and it doesn’t matter what kind of fight cancer decides to dish out. As long as there is love, and as long as we have you, our army…we’ve already won.
We’d like to raise our glass to YOU, our army and acknowledge YOUR courage, YOUR bravery, and most importantly the LOVE and strength YOU have shared with us.