My friend Emma Lodge is a shining light of what frienship is all about.
I am currently in Sydney for the Cancer Australia Breakfast event and unfortunately I was not able to be the face of "Women's walk for cancer" in Cairns which I wanted to do.
I asked Emma to speak at the opening of the event on my behalf, and well lets just say her speech below speaks for itself.
I happened to spot this quote the other night which I thought sums up mine and Sharon’s friendship journey and how our lives have changed over the last 8 years.
It reads ‘each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born’
Sharon’s cancer diagnosis in 2007 not only opened up a whole new world to her, but it completely opened a new world to me too.
I met Sharon in 2006, we worked together and I must have to say it was the best year of work ever!! Sharon has a brilliant sense of humour and we had so much fun. Not sure actually how much work we got done between fits of laughter, but she’s great value, even when you’re having a bad day there’s no way you’ll be able to keep a straight face with her around.
So in 2007 when she was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer at the age of 36, I just couldn’t believe it, it was a shock, and I couldn’t comprehend for a healthy, young, active person how she could be diagnosed with such an aggressive disease. I felt determined I had to do something to help her, and I figured the closest thing I could do to make a difference was to fundraise. So without any previous event experience I decided to put on the biggest pink ribbon fundraiser in town, we had over 200 people attend and raised over $10,000 for breast cancer research.
During that time I networked with so many women going through their own breast cancer journeys, that I felt compelled to carry on with the fundraising and ran the Pink Ribbon High Tea for a further 4 years.
Mine and Sharons friendship grew during this time, as we both had the same mission to spread awareness about breast cancer. Sharon supported me with the fundraising events, and I supported her with her recovery and mission for Everest.
And going back to that quote I read out in the beginning ‘each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born’. I look back now over the last 8 years of friendship and how a new world has presented in both of our lives. Sharon is an inspiration, an ambassador, a breast cancer survivor, the first breast cancer survivor to summit Mt Everest, and I’m absolutely in awe of her, and so grateful to have her as a friend. She has shown me that anything is possible when you put your mind to it and truly have that focus and drive.
My world is now focused on sharing information on prevention, wellness and nutrition. I’ve since ran a number of health events bringing guest speakers to Cairns and sharing information on various tools for good health, I even created my own bus tour taking people to farms and reconnecting people to real food! And I never set out or imagined to be doing any of this in life, not even to be standing on this stage today, I usually shy away from the public speaking bit, but the things you have to do for friends!
So we both inspire each other, me sharing my green smoothie recipes with Sharon, and Sharon teaching me that anything is possible - recovering from breast cancer and summiting Mt Everest, how awesome is that!
And that’s what’s important, surrounding yourself with the right people. The people who will lift you up, give you that energy, make you feel good, and share those positive vibes.
So if you’re up for a challenge and wanting some drive and excitement in life then come join us next February, Sharon will be leading 2 trekking expeditions to Mt Kilimanjaro in Africa, accompanied by 2 special guests who have both climbed 8 of the world’s 14 highest peaks.
Also other challenge for you coming up April next year is the Cancer Council Ultimate Journey for a Cure, which Sharon and her husband Allan will be leading to Everest Base Camp. So if you’re interested in either of those trips please come and see me for info, and you never know what new friendships you might make, or what new world will open for you, everyday is full of possibilities.