I used to think I was a fairly brave person. I mean I have skydived, ziplined and I even had a baby.
The latter is possibly the scariest of all. Physically having a baby is frightening, but it’s the whole parenting thing that has got to be one of the toughest jobs of all time.
Six years into this gig and I’m still scratching my head and checking the mailbox for that instruction manual that never showed up with my little ‘bundle of joy.’
After six years one would think you’d be a pro at this, but it just seems that every few months, as the littles get bigger, there’s a new curveball thrown at you.
But they’re only this age once right, so despite their awkward smiles, with missing and half-grown chicklets, and their new-found attitudes, we should cherish every moment.
I admit, I still feel like an ill-prepared soldier going into battle raising kids. But here I stand, ready to take on the challenge.
While my own feats may seem brave to me, they are nothing in comparison to the bravery a Vernon mom shows as she faces an uncertain future.
Melissa Gobbett doesn’t know how many more moments she may get with her children and husband due to an incurable cancerous brain tumour.
She has already stood up to the disease and fought it with all her strength for more than two years. But just recently, at just 33 years old, the young mom was told that there are no other treatment options for her. Meanwhile the tumour, sitting on the left side of her brain, has affected mobility and function of the right side of her body and has also impaired her speech.
Thankfully, her husband Curtis is at home, looking after her and their two young boys, helping her get around and finishing the sentences that she struggles to complete.
“It’s hard,” Melissa says, as she sits feeling helpless in her wheelchair.
Those words hit hard.
Here is a mom who wants nothing more than to be able to clean up the mess from her boys and prepare hearty meals for them, while chasing them around the house – something that I not only take for granted, but dread some days.
She uses up all her day’s energy every morning to spend with her kids as they get ready for school. Then she rests all day so that come night time, she has enough strength again to spend with her kids.
“She fights for one hour,” said friend Lindsay James.
For mothers such as James, it is unfathomable what Melissa is going through.
Yet through it all, Melissa holds her head high and even though the sparkle in her eyes has dimmed slightly, it’s still there.
The fight she has is still there.
Part of that is her deep desire to spread awareness about what she is going through.
While cancer is a disease that has touched the lives of many, brain cancer is one that few people know a lot about, and her tumour is very rare.
She finds strength in spreading awareness, and is doing what she can to again help organize the Heroes Shave It Off fundraiser for brain cancer research. The June 18 event is in its second year.
Melissa’s journey has also inspired others to help.
Numerous fundraisers, including a Go Fund Me page, have taken place over the years to help the family, so they don’t have to worry about finances so much. One such event takes place Sunday at Edible Canvas Grill and tickets are being sold in advance to the Burger and a Beer fundraiser called Family for Family.
My contribution of buying a few tickets seems small in comparison to what they are going through. But every little bit helps to ease their troubles so that Melissa and her family can put their energy into each other.