Folks, I’m thrilled to announce the launch of The Tory Day Fund, a charity to improve the comfort of cancer patients.
Actually, thrilled is a tough word to use. This fund exists only because of the heartbreaking loss of an extraordinary mother, friend, sister, daughter, aunt and my wife, Tory Butler. It’s been just three months since we lost her to breast cancer and typing these words still feels surreal.
Tory’s death could’ve gutted a close circle of family and friends, just as cancer does each day to countless others. I’ve talked to people whose lives have been impacted by similar loss, and they describe the days, months and sometimes years after as horrible. And no doubt, we’ve had horrible days.
But it hasn’t gutted us. We’ve celebrated Tory’s life, we’ve laughed at the ridiculous stories of her 50 years, and we’ve toasted the beautiful person we knew.
And in many ways it’s actually made us stronger. Tory’s family and friends have rallied to support our daughter Kate, her greatest legacy. And they’ve rallied to ensure her other legacy – the comfort Tory brought to those around her – endures.
The goal of The Tory Day Fund is to bring comfort – any comfort, really – to those undergoing cancer treatment. Despite the efforts of a world-class treatment facility like the Odette Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook Hospital, Tory experienced firsthand just how rare comfort is when undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
What’s comfort in cancer care?
- Comfort is having a bed available for you on the days you’re feeling weak and unable to sit in the usual chemo chair.
- Comfort is having a buddy to teach you the tips and tricks of navigating a complex treatment centre.
- Comfort is having a volunteer named Greg offer you mushroom soup every chemotherapy day.
- Comfort is having a wig donated to you so you don’t lose your self when you lose your hair.
- Comfort is having a week at a cottage donated so you can recharge with family and friends during a time you feel empty.
Comfort is a bunch of seemingly little things, but things that add up to something much bigger.
So today is day one for The Tory Day Fund, and we won’t stop until we’ve exceeded our fundraising goal of $50,000 to improve the comfort of cancer patients.
It’s a big, audacious goal for a bunch of friends and family of a girl from The ‘Shwa. But we are thrilled to make it happen.
Yeah, maybe thrilled isn’t such a tough word to use after all.