All you need to know about…

giving happiness global impact

Day 118: Heart & Music: The Legacy Lives On

There is a part of life which none of us can avoid called death. It touches all of our lives whether we like it or not. When someone close to you passes away it is heart breaking. It can hurt so much you feel like you will never get past the pain. Especially when it is your mother.

My mother is a cancer survivor but just over a year ago I had to come face to face with the fact that I might loose her. I couldn’t imagine that void in my life. I know one day it will come but just thinking about it brings me to tears. We rely on our Mothers from the day we are born to take care of us, nurture us, teach us and give us a hug when we need it the most. I know my mother even in my adult life is still there for that hug, advice and to share my life with me.  When you loose your mother, you loose a part of your heart. A part that no one can ever replace as there is no love like a mother’s love.

I recently did a post called What is Your Legacy about a women by the name of Jackie Bast. She recently passed away of ovarian cancer. I am honoured to have her son, Darrin Bast as a guest writer today to share his story of GIVING in honour of his mother’s life. He is helping to change the face of ovarian cancer. Darrin started a charity event called Heart & Music to give back to the researches at Ovarian Cancer Canada in hope to one day find a cure for the dreaded disease.

The hosts of this great event Jane Lockhart (Colour Confidential) and Christine Cushing (Fearless in the Kitchen) did a 365give video in honour of this prestigious event and on the topic of giving. You can see them both on the 365give/YouTube site.

Thank you Darrin for sharing your story with us. I know it wasn’t easy for you but I hope by giving you a voice it will inspire more people to GIVE.

Day 118: Give 118

I am the CEO and Founder of HEART & MUSIC. As you may or not know, HEART & MUSIC, now in its third year, is an annual fundraising event in support of ovarian cancer research, a disease that affects so many of us in different ways.

My mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer almost four years ago and has unfortunately recently passed away as a result. While Mom was undergoing treatment, I started HEART & MUSIC as a tribute to her. All proceeds from the event go directly to the TEAL HEART Scholarship and Awards at Ovarian Cancer Canada. These awards are offered to graduate students researching cures for ovarian cancer.

I will never forget the day when speaking with Mom that she told me about her ovarian cancer diagnosis. I was absolutely stricken with an incredible feeling of uselessness, as I could nothing to help the woman who had done so much for me. My nine years of graduate education and my ten years of research on a variety of diseases was no good to me now.

I did a lot of investigation over the next few months into the status of ovarian cancer research, pouring over any progress that had been made recently and wondering what the future would hold. Sadly, I learned that one in seventy women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer and almost all of them will succumb to the disease, as my Mom did, within five years of the diagnosis. Although millions of dollars are raised each year for cancer research, I found that little was specifically designated to ovarian cancer. One night, as I was discussing such things with a close friend, it occurred to me that this was how I could help not just my Mom but everyone else’s Mom too. HEART & MUSIC was born.

In it’s inaugural year, the event was a collection of aspiring artists who performed for a relatively small audience. However, it was the spirit of the event that spread like wildfire resulting in plenty of publicity and a number of artists wanting to get on board for the next year. As a result, in that second year, the show was professional, well choreographed and played for an audience four times the previous year.

Now that Mom is gone, I could easily throw in the towel and be comfortable knowing that I tried to make a difference. However, I remember her many, many appointments with doctors, her long days of unpleasant treatment and finally, her admittance into the hospital from where she would never leave. But most of all I remember her tenacity and the fact that she never gave up hope. It is that attitude the drives me to continue HEART & MUSIC, knowing that, one day, a breakthrough will be made that will save the live of someone’s mother, grandmother, aunt, sister or wife. And who knows? Perhaps a recipient of a TEAL HEART Award may even find a cure.

I think Mom would like that.

Darrin Bast, PhD

CEO and Founder, HEART & MUSIC

***Please help me spread the word about 365give. If you like this post or any others please share it so together we can inspire people to give more in their lives. You can Tweet it, like it on Facebook or email it to your friends and family. Remember to subscribe to my daily GIVES from the main page so you can be inspired to GIVE everyday.

Together we can change the world one day at a time.

What people are saying about 365give

“I wanted to express my gratitude for the teaching you provided today. Your message was delivered eloquently, compassionately, and without judgment. The kids were engaged, and now have knowledge with which they can change the world. We all appreciated how you took the time to help us learn to build positive mindsets and practice happiness.”
Shelley Gardner, Grade 6 Ridgeview Elementary (West Vancouver)
“Actions really do speak louder than words, which is why I believe the 365give Challenge has resonated throughout my community. Every give we do is so important to us and leaves us happier and appreciating our lives a little bit more than before.”
Mahina Niyozova (Tajikistan)
“After watching the 365give TEDx Talk, I was inspired to join and begin a daily giving program in India. Today, along with 12 other volunteer women, we provide 100 meals to local underprivileged children in Bangalore for school every day.”
Deepika Ahuja, Mom (Bangalore, India)
“My life has greater meaning now.”
Renate Jorge, @BeKindBrazil and 365give Member, Family Program (Brazil)
“I just wanted to share that 365give really helped me. I am a better person now, thank you.”
MayLee, 365give Member, Individual Program
“This 365give Challenge has really injected excitement and extra enthusiasm in each work day as I think about what we can do. It has motivated me and the students.”
Cristina Peters, School Counselor (New York City, USA)
“I have seen a huge shift in energy throughout my classroom since doing the 365give Challenge. The Challenge has empowered my students to make a positive difference in the school’s community and beyond.”
Cella Adriana, Special Needs Educator /The Holliswood School (New York City, USA)
“The 365give Challenge helps students understand their impact on others. It opens avenues for introducing and discussing global and local issues in classrooms. It is powerful to watch students of all ages think about how they can make a change in another person’s life with one small act.”
Jessica Hall, Primary Teacher, French Immersion at École Pauline Johnson (West Vancouver, Canada)