Kelly Family Storms the Beaches of Ashbridges Bay To Fight Cancer.

Posted: September 19, 2013 in RECENT EVENTS
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By Jason Sutcliffe

Nancy Kelly and her entire family stormed the beaches of Ashbridges Bay Sunday morning to do their part in the fight against cancer. There were about 20 of them in total, and all of them wearing matching T-sirts honouring Christopher Kelly who died of cancer in November 2009.

This is a battle that from the start, Nancy has never had to take on alone. When asked if the run is something she does every year she said, “Yes, yes ever since 2010, which was the year after he passed away. We… I decided I was going to do it, and I thought okay I want to see if my family—and they all showed up and have been showing up ever since.”

Nancy Kelly’s son Christopher battled Osteosarcoma the same form of cancer that Terry Fox battled 33 years ago. Both Terry and Christopher lost their battles, and both were young men when they did. It was clear to me almost immediately that this event was one that Nancy held close to the heart. During our almost 15 minute conversation, she drew on the parallel numerous times.

There were a number of times during the interview where I was amazed at her strength, family and story, but at no point was she more sincere than when she spoke of Christopher’s final days, Nancy said:

“…What is pretty remarkable is that in 2009 when he got really sick towards the end, and I knew it was coming close, so he passed away in November 2009, and so just as it happened it wasn’t planned but everybody started showing up at the door. We had a house full of people, and like I don’t have a big house, but we had a house full of people. I think we had about…I’m trying to remember. It is a bit of a blur, but probably as many as what are here of family stayed over for two nights in a row with us in support. Because they new it was obviously the end—it was immanent you know his passing.”

From those comments, it was clear to me that while Christopher was robbed of time and a long healthy life, he was blessed with more family, friends and love than most people get in a lifetime. He experienced the most beautiful things life had to offer in his short time with us.

His mother is one of the most, lovely compassionate people I have had the pleasure of speaking with. In the midst of everything she was going through she recalled her feeling for other kids that were going through the same issues as her son:

“…You watch babies you know who have been sick, some kids were diagnosed with cancer right after birth they don’t even remember being home, they haven’t been home for like two years. Like leukemia they have to treat constantly, and I remember one kid who was just three years old and he had been in the hospital since birth getting treated for Osteo…sorry for cancer. I think it was leukemia, and he went home he was in remission and then he…it came back again, so he had to come back into the hospital. It was even harder for him then because he didn’t really understand because he liked being at home, he didn’t really understand why he was back in the hospital. So, it is really tough watching other people with cancer…”

The Kelly family is everything that a family is supposed to be. They support each other, they are close during the best of times and get even closer during the worst of times. As far as Nancy Kelly goes, she is the definition of strength. When life kicked her in the gut and dropped her to her knees she refused to stay down, she got back to her feet and stared it right in the face. I commend her and anyone else faced with this same situation. I only hope that in life I can carry myself with the same strength and dignity as she.

R.I.P. Christopher William Kelly


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