“There are no goodbyes for us. Wherever you are, you will always be in my heart.” Mahatma Gandhi

I thought I understood what loss was until I lost my mother. Losing her is the hardest thing I have experienced. She was my mother; the person from whom I learned what love was, how to build a relationship from, and, above all, the person I knew I could always depend on.

On February 28, 2021 my mother Valerie’s short but courageous battle with cancer for the second time ended. Though at times overwhelming, my mother faced every moment with grace and humour (she named her tumor Ralph!). At every step she could, she reminded me that she isn’t gone, rather, she’s just starting a new journey. I want to take that journey with her. As we all have heard, every journey begins with the first step and so, to honour her memory and to commemorate the new journey she is on, I am taking that first step with her and running a half marathon in her memory.

In celebration of what would have been Valerie’s 68th birthday, I invite you to run or walk by my side (virtually) as I honour my mother and the incredible staff at Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre in hopes of raising $10,000 for the C3 department where my mother spent her final days. If unable to participate directly, I welcome and thank you for your contribution by way of donation. The care and attention my mother and I received during her stay is unmatched and I want to ensure that their generosity of spirit does not go unrecognized.

Forever grateful,

Jessica Vandenberg-Moles