From the first time I heard about the Camino de Santiago in Spain, I just knew I had to walk it. The funny thing was, when I told people what I was going to do, those who knew me didn’t seem surprised. In fact, I think I was more surprised than they were. As I started reading about the Camino and planning my trip, I realized once again how very lucky I am to be healthy enough to consider doing the pilgrimage. But, as I contemplated spending so much of my savings to go and walk across a country I knew nothing about, I began second-guessing myself. Was I being foolish? Maybe I should wait and do the Camino later.
Then I thought of my Dad. I remembered all the wonderful plans he and my mom had for what they would do ‘one day’, when the time was right. Only they never got to do those things. Cancer took my father from us before ‘one day’ ever came. And when he went, he took with him my belief that there would always be time for what I wanted to do later. I needed to walk the Camino now. I would do it for myself and for my father, for all the things he would never get to do, for all the unlived dreams that linger here like ghosts since he died.
Thinking about Dad made me think, too, about the others who have cancer and may never get to live their dreams. So gradually I realized I wanted to do something more. I thought I could ask people to sponsor my walk and give all the money to an organization that helps people with cancer. That would be a fitting legacy for Dad.
When I looked around at the wonderful groups here that work with cancer patients, one stood out in my mind. One stood out as giving people something more than information and support through their medical procedures. InspireHealth gave people hope. And hope is one thing my father desperately needed during his battle with the disease. InspireHealth gives patients back some control over their lives and the people who go there get encouraging results. Preliminary InspireHealth research shows that integrated care leads to better health outcomes, with some patients surviving up to three times longer. Through initiatives such as their LIFE program, InspireHealth is taking the lead in innovative healthcare service delivery. They are becoming a model for optimal cancer care, both in Canada and elsewhere. For these reasons and others, I chose InspireHealth. Now I hope you will choose to sponsor them through my walk. Please consider pledging your support for my walk on InspireHealth’s web page . Together, we can help ensure people with cancer have a chance to live their own adventures; perhaps we may even help find a way to prevent the disease in the first place. Select ‘Camino Against Cancer’ or write it in the box under ‘Other’.
Together, we can help others live long enough to do the things they dream.
Christine Grimard is a BC writer who earns her living doing technical and business writing while also working on fiction and creative nonfiction projects. She loves travel and the outdoors, which both provide plenty of adventure and inspiration for her writing. She likes to challenge herself physically, which has led her to go dog-sledding in Greenland, enter snowshoe and trail-running races, and take up snowboarding and mountain biking even after the resiliency of youth has passed.
To find out more about Christine and the journey she’s about to take, check out her blog
To find out more about the great work InspireHealth is doing, see their website