Happy Birthday Greg!

I am so excited, we have our next competition in less than a week!

He said

I know we’ve said this a lot but the reality is it continues to be true. This was another one of those weeks. We thought we might be due for a reprieve as Emelia chimed up with “I am not sure if I want to do wrestling” this week, but that quickly changed to “I still am going to do it” which we think is part because she doesn’t want to let her friend Sienna down who was excited that Emelia was coming back to it. So, as much as we’d love one less thing to cart her too weekly (especially as they have early morning practices and the new surprise, partner practices at Medway High School), we love that she has a sense of commitment to a friend and is seeing it through.

The focus on Cheer this week for Emelia’s team (Sov) was to sharpen their routine and get ready as next Saturday we’re in Oshawa for Cheer For the Cure. They’ve made a lot of adjustments to their routine since their effort at Fall Classic to ensure that their performance improves and sees them position better. The girls have been working extra hard and it has been a delight to watch them deal with the adjustments with ease and putting the team first. Emelia has been at the top of that as she has recognized the challenge she is having with her tumbling run and the round-off double back handspring, back tuck and for the good of their result asked if they moderate it out the routine for this comp until she can get more time to focus on sharpening it up and having it comp-ready. It’s been a delight watching the team come together, focus and work really hard this year!

This weekend was also a significant milestone for my brother Greg… his 55th birthday. He has been in a real health battle this year with cancer, and the last eight weeks he has been in hospital dealing with complications from that journey. He was diagnosed just about a year ago and where we initially thought that there was hope for cure, within a few months of that journey we learned that any treatment was focused on prolonging life and not a cure. The last few months have been very challenging for him but I am totally blown away (and proud) of how he has taken the approach of throwing unyielding positivity and hope at this. And, even in the more challenging times he’s continued to just keep going at it with everything he has. I am beyond proud but not surprised. At any rate yesterday was his 55th birthday and the family was able to get together and help him sign it in.

My Movember campaign this year is dedicated to Greg and his battle and I am happy to say that I have once again reached Platinum Club Status having raised $1,230 this year (so far). But, I have also raised $11,768 since I began this in 2009! I am damned proud of those numbers and super thankful for those that have donated this year especially as the campaign hits very close to home. Every single year I have had the fortune/misfortune to dedicate my campaign to someone I know that cancer has touched. Last year as Greg’s diagnosis was very new and fresh I quietly dedicated my campaign to him. But, this year with Greg’s approval, I have made my efforts publicly known for his cause as the work for him gets harder and harder. To everyone who has contributed this year, an extra special thank you as this means a lot more to me as you can imagine. And to Greg, thank you for your inspiration and as usual, the blueprint for how I would hope to react in this type of prognosis. You are my absolute inspiration–thank you, happy birthday and love you!

She said

After putting in an over 70 work week last week I was ready for things to be a bit slower at work. Well that wasn’t the case. I did decide however for the best of life balance and everything we have been dealing with to take both Thursday and Friday off work. Our focus over those days has been firmly with our family. The four days off work was what we needed and with everything that happened over these last few days I am beyond happy I was off work to manage it all physically and emotionally.

On Thursday John and I were both off work and this meant we could go for a much needed mental health break and go for a long bike ride. The weather was cold but being bundled up we were able to get in a good long ride. The next morning since John worked a later shift for Black Friday he and I went for another not quite as long ride. And man did we need it. As John mentioned the biggest focus for us as a family right now is the health and support of Greg. In the last week we found out some very rough news and this meant we were amping up our support for his family and turning our focus into celebrating Greg’s birthday. The last 8 weeks due to two cancer complication related surgeries and complications after he has been in the hospital since our niece’s birthday on September 12th (except a few days home between surgeries). So the focus for our sister in law was to figure out how to get Greg out of the hospital even for a few hours so we could celebrate his 55th birthday.

So after a fair bit of work Testza was able to coordinate with the hospital to get Greg out to a restaurant he has wanted to try for a long time. With quick planning we were able to gather much of the family. Most of the family was there to celebrate. It was exactly that a celebration. Time as a family making memories. We wish everyone could have been there, John, Vaughan, Amy and Aaron had to work, Helen was unfortunately in the hospital (that is another crisis that came up this week – thankfully she will be okay but after a bad fall gave us all a huge scare and is very banged up and will be in the hospital for a bit while the doctors monitor her.

The rest of the weekend for Emelia was very Cheer focused, today was their second last practice before their next competition and the coaches are working on the fine details, sharpening their skills, and it is all about polishing and bonding as a team. The first full out went amazing and they are looking really good and ready for Cheer for the Cure. But practice wasn’t the only big Cheer event today. A few weeks ago they girls decided they wanted a fun team bonding event. So tonight they had a potluck and karaoke night. All in all it sounds like they had the best night. I just adore this team, they are really close and always have each others’ back! It is these moments the girls will remember from their competitive career and will strengthen their bond at competition.


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