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This week I digress from family law, as I want to let you know about Enliven; Muskoka’s Centre for Well-Being in Cancer. Approximately 5 years ago, Joanne McLean, while battling metastatic breast cancer, took yoga teacher training with Allie Chisholm-Smith in Huntsville. If you were fortunate enough to know these two women, you would know that any idea, co-created by them, would be inspired, caring, and damn important! Their idea was Enliven - a centre that I liken to Gilda’s Club in Barrie - a place where people dealing with cancer, and their caregivers, could go to for support, programs, activities and, most importantly, community.
Our current statistic is that one in two of us will be diagnosed with cancer during our lives. Enliven is a community where cancer, and all the ways it affects us, can be acknowledged and discussed, within a community of understanding. It’s a place to hear music, go for group walks, write, attend art groups, join yoga and hear guest speakers on wide-ranging topics. It’s a centre that is growing and responding, so it can meet the needs in Muskoka. When my husband, Mark, passed away from cancer in 2015, Enliven did not yet exist. For a number of months, I travelled to Barrie to attend a group at Gilda’s Club. That group was my lifeline at the time, but the regular evening travel was really difficult. Joanne and Allie understood that community, no matter what stage you are at, makes all the difference in the world. I am so pleased to now be a part of the organization they created, where we can offer important services close to home.
So here’s my pitch!
We are hosting 2 FUN events in honour of World Cancer Day! The first we are calling our Jo-athlon - named after our founder Joanne McLean. She loved the outdoors and this event takes place at Tawingo on February 2 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., with registration at 11:30. For kids and adults alike - it’s a family fun day with 10 outdoor events, bbq, t-shirts and prizes available. This is a fundraiser so please register and try to gain pledges!
The second is our Gala on February 4 at Canvas Brewery in Huntsville. We will have the incredible voice of Christina Hutt, fabulous hor d’oeuvres by Tall Trees Restaurant and an absolute EPIC auction, with donations from Frockful of Funk, Mark Reeder Fine Art and Kelly Holinshead Photography, just to name a few! I urge you to check out Enliven on Facebook and the website to see many of the auction items. And I urge you to buy a ticket on Eventbrite to attend this amazing event, for an amazing cause. Please click here for; Enliven’s Website or our facebook page to register for the Jo-Athlon and get your tickets for the Gala!