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
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