Monday, June 9, 2014
Monday, June 2, 2014
|Staci Blayone, Dionne Warner|
Spring SKY 2014
Photo Credit: Scott Goodhill
Dionne ‘Warrior’ Warner, eight time cancer survivor shared the journey that she and husband Graham Warner have lived. Their book, “Never Leave Your Wingman” tells a story of hope and love.
I was in the back room along with the other models, three of whom are also cancer survivors. As we chatted over wine before the show, Leah, Jodean and Nicki shared their stories. Even though they had not met before that night, they could practically finish each other’s sentences. I was taken aback by their courage and strength. They reminded me of my friends, Bijal and Chantal, who both lost their battles to cancer at a very young age.
I thought of my grandmother who fought valiantly after being diagnosed in her late 70’s and endured radiation and chemotherapy. She lived to be 89, and that was still too early for her incredible light to go out. I gave the eulogy at my grandmother’s funeral, and I remember saying, I can’t imagine the world without her light.
As I was waiting for Dionne to finish speaking, and for the Staci to give us the signal that the fashion show was to begin, I was thinking about Leah, Nicki, Jodean and Dionne, I realized that I had been given a rare gift - an insight into not just cancer, the disease, but into the human experience. I wanted to help others see what I could see in that moment.
As a writer and publisher, I have this amazing tool that can reach thousands of people. Through the stories of people, words have the power to change minds and change behaviour. Words have the power to move us from complacency to caring, from inaction to action.
As soon as the show was over, Dionne and Graham were signing books. I went over and asked Dionne to be my next cover and she said yes.
Dionne and Graham signed my book:
“Dearest Lynn! Let’s keep hope alive, my earth angel friend!! :) Enjoy. Dionne.
“Never say whoa in the middle of a slough!” wrote Graham.
The following Monday, I asked Leah, Nicki and Jodean, and they too agreed. I am honoured beyond words.
Today is National Cancer Survivors’ Day. The Summer SKY is dedicated to the warriors fighting cancer, past, present and future.