I was there for her wedding, the day she married the love of her life John, the day that they shared with their then very little girl. The backyard wedding overlooking the creek in Georgetown, the perfect day of sunshine for when her dad walked her down the aisle in his family’s clan kilt, the dancing late into the night. They didn’t know it, but they had given me a gift that day – the seed of an idea of wanting to be the one capturing it all for them. I may not have been their photographer, but I sure wished I had been.
Amy is family – more specifically she’s Patti’s cousin – which gives me a few perks: seeing their love grow for each other even if it’s online and the only time we really all see each other is at the family Christmas party, having John to give me that wink and nod of sharing the same nervousness of being the in-laws of a huge gathering at said party (I kid, I kid), and being able to help with the tools that I have and use every day, just like now.
Amy is on a life journey, one that a lot of us may never follow, but it’s one that she wants to be shared for those that are looking for perspective, community, and a sense that they’re not alone in this massive world where they may feel lost – a young life with Cancer. I was deeply honoured when Amy contacted me to help share her journey and to ask for help to get it to as many people as possible with the incredible project that she is a part of. The only thing that I asked for in return was that she write this herself, as a guest blogger, to speak and share from her heart and in her words.
Please read, please click, please support. Without you this can’t happen.
Here is Amy’s letter:
“My name is Amy Aubin and I was a Rotary Exchange Student in 1999-2000 where I travelled to Argentina. The experience was an invaluable one and I actually married a fellow Rotary Exchange Student (from another local chapter- John Aubin from Georgetown) and together we have a 4 year old daughter. My letter to you unfortunately is not a happy one but one that lands on a more sombre note.
To be honest, I am not sure how to start this letter. I guess I will start at the beginning.
In 2006 I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer at the age of 24. Although I managed to have one wonderful daughter before my hysterectomy my cancer journey did not stop there. I have since co-chaired a local Walk of Hope which was a success (and quite a lot of work). I have since had Cervical Cancer and my original Ovarian Cancer has metastasized to my right lung for which I am currently receiving treatment-I will turn 30 in a mere matter of months and already I have faced things that most people don’t face until they are much older (or even at all). I was able to connect with a group called Young Adult Cancer Canada (YACC) who provide support to young adults (15-39) who have or have had cancer. Now we are taking it to the next level. There are currently hundreds (I don’t know the exact figure) who are members of YACC. 77,000 Young Adults will be newly diagnosed each year with Cancer, and although mortality rates have dropped in both the older age category (40+ in both men and women) and the younger age category (15 and under, both boys and girls), the mortality rates for Young Adults with Cancer remains the highest and it has not dropped at all. On a personal note, in the last month, 3 of my close YACC friends have succumbed to Cancer making me more committed than ever to this project.
A group of us (Young Cancer Survivors) have partnered with Hands on Films to make a movie that follows young cancer survivors and tackles key issues that until now have been kept in the dark. The movie focuses on a particular young woman who has Ovarian Cancer and has battled it literally for years- this person is me. Although it touches on Ovarian Cancer it addresses more the overall unique issues young adult cancer patients deal with as a whole. We created a fundraising page on Kickstarter.com for our movie which is called ‘Valleys’. We are hoping that after making this movie we can debut it at a few of the major film festivals to really get the word out there. The biggest obstacle we young adults face is isolation and we hope that by making this movie, we can break down the barriers and offer support and comfort to those who need it.
In order to make the movie, we need to raise $17,000.00 in 25 days.
We have raised over 3000.00 but our target market are Young Adults with Cancer who have no extra money to raise the capital we need to make our vision come true.
I would greatly appreciate your assistance in broadening our appeal. By passing on the link for our film or donating to it.
Once the film is finished and debuted at a film festival, we will be posting the webisodes on Youtube so every young adult or anyone else can see it for free without having to pay a cent. Neither the filmmakers or the people in the film will make any money from it.
I have been through the wringer (in terms of treatment) and I am hoping that by making this movie- it can help others who may be in a similar situation. I’m not sure who will read it, but this means a great deal to all of us and me, and I hope by reading a little bit of my story it will mean a great deal to you too.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, I know how busy our lives get without even thinking about it.
Our Kickstarter Link: