Sam. I ended up loving your sister because of you! Your dedication, devotion and determination to raise funds, by hopping on a unicycle (of all things) you mad bugger, for the ground-breaking research and treatment that might just save her was a productive, tangible and joyful response to a hopeless circumstance. It was awe inspiring! In this shitty situation you said ‘’FUCK NO; not on my watch’’ and it moved me. I instantly wanted in! I wanted to part of something productive and positive; to also stop feeling helpless and believe I could actually make a difference. Following you, ‘meeting’ Connie and the family, becoming a villager – has changed me for good. Your choice to rage against the dying of the light awakened something in us all, Sammy. This disease is indiscriminate, insidious and unrelenting. We are already cancer affected but our darling cousin, a 45 yr old Mum of three, was this week terminally diagnosed with bowel and liver cancer. It impacts everyone, one way or another. It needs to end. Your desire to seriously alter cancer’s seemingly unstoppable current trajectory – struck a chord. Supporting you on your journey has made me feel hopeful and purposeful. By your journey’s end, as was inevitable, I did indeed LOVE YOUR SISTER 😊 How could I not? Not only is she so beloved by you but she bravely chose to offer herself up to the rigours of public scrutiny – at a time when she least needed it – to raise awareness (early detection is your best prevention) and funds to tangibly enable the brainacs some chance of finding solutions. She willingly and selflessly allowed me into her life when most others would have justifiably withdrawn to hunker down. She put herself on display, so that the absolute devastation and cruelty of this disease could not be ignored. She made it personal.
Connie. You have been and always will be an inspiration to me. Your courage, tenacity and unfathomable gumption throughout your ordeal will stay with me forever. You were SO smart Con, to immediately recognise that the boy on the unicycle had stirred something in us all. That like a pied piper he attracted a following of like-minded, frustrated hearts. You knew Con, you saw that this following, WE, could be rallied – into a community, a village an army! And marshalling us all to ultimately win this war (which we will) will keep your baby brother and all those closest to you (those most sincerely affected by the wake of your departure) BUSY, productive and moving forward!! You saw it, two birds with one stone – taking care of us ALL in one foul swoop and finding a cure! You clever, clever girl 😊 I am, and will always be, eternally proud to carry the LYS banner forward – alongside my fellow LYS warriors – in your honour and in honour of all those struck down by this disease to ensure a solution is found.
In sharing your journey with me Connie I have learned to have perspective; to be grateful; to value NOW because it’s fucking awesome 😉; to be the change I want to see in this world and never give up hope. Because of you Connie Johnston I have been changed for good. Thank you. I think of you daily and always will.x
Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. The wise men at their end know dark is right, Because their words had forked no lightning day. Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Dylan Thomas.
Boy did you RAGE Connie!! As will we…