2019 Scholarship Recipient
Scholarship Amount: $10,000
School: Concordia University
In 2006, when I was five, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Sadly, in 2011 her cancer spread throughout her body. She could no longer walk so she lived in a hospital bed in our living room. She was eventually moved to Cascade Hospice in Chilliwack where she could get 24/7 care and be as comfortable as possible in her last days. On June 27, 2012 she passed away after her courageous cancer battle.
One of the hardest things for me is that my most vivid memories of my mom are the ones where she is sick in a hospital bed or dying in hospice. I always thought she would get better and come home again, but she never did. Even though I can often feel sad about having lost my mom at such a young age, I have never given up on myself.
Unfortunately, my parents had very little life insurance coverage. When I asked my dad why, he said it was an expense that didn’t seem as necessary as some others, and bottom line no one expects to die so young. They were focused on the new beginnings of raising a family and building a career, and the cancer diagnosis came out of left field. At that point, it was too late. They focused on my mom getting better, but sadly that didn’t happen.
The reality of my mom getting sick was it showed that life threatening situations can happen to anyone, at any age. If my parents had adequate coverage on my mom, it would have created financial peace of mind during what is already a very difficult situation. For my dad, being a widower at 42 with two young children was a very unexpected situation.
My dad has worked hard and saved whatever he could for my brother and I to attend university. If my mom had greater life insurance coverage it would have eliminated all of the financial stress associated with attending university. My goal is to keep working hard in the summers to help pay for university and to avoid student debt. Since my mom died, I have not lost my focus in school and worked hard to get straight A’s each year. I am happy to say that I have been accepted into the Bachelor of Science honours program in Behavioural Neuroscience at Concordia University in Montreal. I would like to graduate with a degree that keeps doors open for a career in the medical profession. I am thankful for the care my mom received when she was sick, and hopefully, one day I can help others the way so many people helped her.
She was only 36 years old. As hard as I try, I can't remember much of her before she was sick because I was so young. For the next six years my memories are all about her many doctor appointments and people trying to help her get better.