Remembering Lizzie

As Lizzie’s mom, I have had the privilege of writing on her blog twice before today.  The first time was after her surgery, and what a great day it was. We had so much hope.

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July 1st 2016 Three days after Elizabeth’s surgery, one day after Jack’s first birthday. Both milestones she was so grateful to achieve.


The second time was in Boston when Elizabeth was beginning a new trial drug. We still had hope. 

Today as I write this, I am reminded how Elizabeth could find hope in the smallest of things, in the most difficult times. For those of you not aware, Elizabeth passed away peacefully on Feb 25, 2017.
d2f37b35-243b-49b2-9ab1-937081a5024fWhen you love someone as much as we loved Elizabeth, you believe you can protect them. To say we were blindsided by this terrible disease is an understatement. Elizabeth had an incredible will to live, and so much to live for. If a healthy, young, pregnant, non-smoking woman can get lung cancer, anyone can. Lung cancer took Elizabeth in the prime of her life. While our pain is still raw, and with Lung Cancer Awareness Month approaching, we felt it was important to do what Elizabeth would do; continue to raise awareness for a cancer that kills more Canadians each year than breast, prostate and colon cancer combined.

There has been so much progress with lung cancer research and therapies in the last five years, but there is so much more work to do. Lung Cancer is Canada’s deadliest cancer, yet receives only 7% of government funding and 1% of personal donations. The more Elizabeth learned about the stigma associated with lung cancer the harder she fought to create awareness. In Elizabeth’s memory, we will sell her ‘just breathe’ products on her online etsy store during November, Lung Cancer Awareness Month ( #LCAM ). They will also be available at the Evening of Hope on Nov. 16th. https://www.aneveningofhope.ca/

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October 20th 2016 After completing 5 weeks of radiation, Elizabeth is shown here packaging and processing her ‘just breathe’ products. She always included lung cancer education and her signature four leaf clover. Born on St Patricks day, she felt everyone could use a little luck. 

One of the most valuable things Elizabeth taught us throughout her illness is that hope comes in varying degrees. When she was first diagnosed, she hoped to see Jack’s first birthday. After her successful surgery, she hoped to see Jack’s first day of school. When the cancer returned, she hoped the new trial drug would allow her to celebrate Jack’s second birthday. Her healthcare team at the Ottawa Cancer Centre, lead by Dr. Scott Laurie, was second to none. If Plan A wasn’t working, Dr. Laurie always had a Plan B, C & D. This gave Elizabeth what she needed most, hope for more time.  It was hope that gave her the courage to consciously choose happiness and make the most of each day in the face of a life threatening disease.

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One of Elizabeth’s favourite quotes.

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It hung on her inspirational wall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two months after her diagnosis, Elizabeth began blogging her cancer journey to create awareness, encourage hope, and inspire others. It began with a handful of followers and grew to be read in over 80 countries, winning Healthline’s best blog of 2016. She never imagined how much her blog readers would give back to her in return. The level of kindness and compassion shown to her was beyond measure. You became a tremendous source of strength for her in some of her most difficult hours. Our family is grateful for the outpouring of support from the community that she brought together through this blog.

As we grieve her loss we are comforted by the many ways she has been remembered.
The first annual Elizabeth Dessureault Hockey Tournament was a huge success, raising $9000 for Lung Cancer Canada.

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Dave MacDonald (Organizer), Sue MacDonald, Robyn & Louis Denis. After this photo was taken, more donations came in raising the total to $9,000.00. Photo credit: Roy Studio

Her high school recently renamed their opening season basketball tournament after her. Proceeds will be donated to educational bursaries for students who embody Elizabeth’s spirit.

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In 2004, Elizabeth took the first jump ball for the newly opened Holy Trinity High School in Cornwall, ON.

We were honoured to accept Elizabeth’s Master of Professional Education Degree on her behalf at Western University’s Fall Convocation last week.

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These are just a few of the incredibly kind things that have happened in Elizabeth’s memory.  Thank you for the love and kindness shown to Elizabeth and our family over the past 2 years. We have witnessed the best in humanity in the most difficult time in our lives.

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Lizzie’s greatest gift, her son Jack.

National Post Article – Young Mother ‘changed the face of lung cancer’

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Elizabeth Anne Dessureault

March 17 1989 – February 25 2017

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Love you forever.

Always in our hearts.

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19 thoughts on “Remembering Lizzie

  1. Heaven’s Gain. Such a short life with such a long legacy. Take pride knowing she will always be remembered by the many lives she touched. What a beautiful blog Robyn. I am sure she sent you the strength you needed, to write this, special delivery, straight
    from heaven. 😇🍀💔❤️🍀

    Liked by 1 person

    • A very courageous young woman who certainly gave her all to fight & raise so much awareness for lung cancer,she will never be forgotten,,all the best always, Barb🔔

      Like

  2. Reblogged this on These Are My Scars and commented:
    I have been struggling as of late to summarize and put to words my trip to Japan, so I will post that in another post, until then, please read this. Lizzie was a tremendous spirit and although I had only ever spoken to her via email and phone, he passing shook me to my core.

    Be well,
    AM

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Did not know Elizabeth but I followed her through the journey she had of hope through her blogs. She was in my heart the most beautiful balanced young women. I think I can speak for others when I say the hope she shared and showed I thought she was going to beat this. Robin I have met you a few times and she also was lucky to have you as a mother. You helped her to become the young women she was and who was touched and loved by everyone that became to know her. The gift of her son she will grow in him. I pray for you and your family for the strength to carry on with why this happens. She will never be forgotten.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Robyn and family, Elizabeth and all of you are often in our thoughts. It is with such admiration that I read your posts and hear of how you continue to champion for such a worthy cause close to your hearts. Your strength and dedication to her as well as all your efforts to keep her memory alive through this blog, the fundraising and lung cancer awareness is quite special. We will continue to remember her big smile and her courage, always. Hugs to all of you from the Germain family.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As someone fighting lung cancer myself, I want to THANK YOU for continuing to fight and raise awareness of lung cancer. We need all the help we can get against this vicious disease.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I met Lizzie only once at the Hope Summit in DC, I had followed her on social media. She was so beautiful and sweet.
    My daughter has lung cancer, also ROS1 like Lizzie.
    We were devastated by Lizzie’s passing, we still think of her family and remember her often. She was so young, with so much left to accomplish.
    I am so sorry for your loss, I can’t imagine the pain.
    Know that Lizzie was so loved by our lung cancer community and she won’t be forgotten.
    Paula

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for the wonderful update. Everyone of us that followed Elizabeth’s blog will never forget her and the gifts she bestowed on us.
    Sending much love to her friends and family.
    From Rita ( friend of the Gallivan Family )

    Like

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