Unexpected loss inspires action


Lindsay with a photo of her dad
Lindsay Clarke will never forget the day before her 28th birthday. It was the day her dad was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.

“He fought. He did the treatment. It worked for a little while, but then it stopped working,” Lindsay recalls. “He did some experimental treatments but they made him feel terrible.”

Injecting joy into an otherwise distressing time, Lindsay’s boyfriend, Ryan, proposed. She enthusiastically said yes. Despite a bleak outlook, Lindsay’s dad wanted nothing more than to walk his daughter down the aisle. And that’s exactly what he did.

“The morning of my wedding he was feeling pretty terrible,” says Lindsay. “But when it was time to walk me down the aisle, he rallied. He was up until two at the party! He even danced with me, though he couldn’t do much more dancing after that.”

In lieu of traditional glass clinking to encourage the newlyweds to kiss, Lindsay and Ryan asked guests to donate to Prostate Cancer Canada. She also honoured her parents’ marriage, with a surprise request for them to renew their marriage vows at the reception.

Setting goals

Lindsay’s dad set a second goal: to spend Christmas with her; something they hadn’t done since she began nursing school in Newfoundland two years earlier. She was still in St. John’s when she received a call from her mom. Her dad had been admitted to the hospital in immense pain. Knowing her dad would give her grief if she didn’t finish her last exam, Lindsay did that before flying across the country to be with him.

“I was so shocked when I saw him, because it wasn’t my dad. My dad was a big man, and this person in front of me was a very frail old man,” she recalls. “About a week later, it was just me and him in the hospital. I spent the night and sang to him. He had a day of lucidness, where he was feeling great and asking when he was going home, but by that point the cancer had spread to his brain.”

The next night, Lindsay left to drop her nieces and nephew off at the sitter’s. Her dad died 10 minutes after she returned with her mom and sister. He was only 58.

Moments missed


Lindsay’s father/daughter dance at her wedding
“Because my dad and I were big talkers, there was nothing left unsaid,” says Lindsay. “We had extensive conversations. We cried together. We laughed together. He told me everything I needed to hear, and I did the same. There was never a question of whether my dad loved me. It was obvious and he always told me. I was a daddy’s girl.”

Lindsay’s dad wasn’t afraid to die. He was afraid to miss moments.

“I graduated from nursing school three years after he died, and he missed it,” says Lindsay. “And then I had my son a year later, and he missed it. He would have loved my son. My son loves trains and my dad was a railroad engineer so they would have just talked for hours.”

Turning loss into action


Lindsay with her sister, mom and niece
Losing her dad emboldened Lindsay to spread awareness of prostate cancer. She volunteers for Prostate Cancer Canada’s Do it For Dads Walk/Run and Step Up Challenge in Calgary.

“My favourite part about being at events is meeting the survivors, and knowing that their cancer was caught early enough, that they get to finish their lives happily and with longevity. I will continue to volunteer and raise awareness until prostate cancer is gone,” says Lindsay. “I will do anything to prevent someone else from losing their dad or uncle or brother or grandpa.”

“My dad was my hero. Losing him was hard. His funeral was overflowing with people, he was such a well-loved man. After we buried him, we went down the golf course, because he loved to golf. It was raining, and all of a sudden a rainbow appeared. It was a peaceful way to say goodbye.”

It’s been eight years since Lindsay’s dad died. “It was really hard because my dad was never sick until he was. But I can still hear his voice when I do something that he would be proud  of,” she says.


September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is a time for Canadians to spread the word about the most common cancer in Canadian men. There is still a tremendous need for more awareness and education. Share Lindsay’s story and learn more about how you can get involved.

 

Your donation helps protect men and their families from prostate cancer.
You'll be supporting the most promising research projects, and providing men with care and support when they need it most. 
Posted: 2018-09-21 11:13:51 AM
Filed under: dads, do, family, for, it, run, step, survivor, up, walk


Tags

Local Hero Award A Survivorship Action Partnership Active adt advanced Alex Baumann Annual Moose & Goose Club Black Tie Dinner antigen ASAP athlete awareness Beam biopsies biopsy Bismar blood BOSSS Tournament Boutros Brachytherapy Bristow british Buttyan Calgary Canada Cancer caregiver catheter CFL Chemotherapy cherry cnic columbia Conor Malone Cruisin’ For A Cure Canada Dad dads Dakar Rally day deprivation detection diagnosis digital dna do doctor don donate DRE early Early detection ED Edmonton Education erection eric Eskimos exam experience External family Father and Sons Xcanada Father’s Day Walk/Run FDiagnosis Football for Fred Chartrand funding fundraising genetics Golf Town Charity Classic health High-Intensity history hockey Hope Hormone international it Jack Layton Len Levesque lifelabs lottery loved mccormack Media men's moustache Movember MRI Murray Hill national navigator of Olivia Chow one ones partership Paul PCC PCC Atlantic PCCN pee Pilot Grant Program Plaid post-surgery pre-surgery prosate cancer Prostate prostate cancer Prostate Cancer Awareness Day Prostate Cancer Canada Prostate Cancer Canada Network Prostate Cancer Canada Network Conference prostatecancer Prostatectomy Protect the 5 Hole PSA PSA blood test PSA levels PSA test PSA value psatest Radiation Radical radioligand raffle Ralph Randy Remington Randy Remington Charity Golf Classic recovery rectal remember Research researcher Resources Rhodes Ride Rising risk road Rob robyn Rocco Rossi rock Rocktheroadraffle run Scotiabank StickIt Scotiabank Stick-It screened screening sexuality Sled specific Star step Steve Jones story Stuart Edmonds support surgery Surveillance survivor survivors survivorship programs T2:ERG Tarek test testing the The Breast Friends The Randy Remington Golf Classic Therapy TIEd Together TIEd Together photo exhibit Treatment tumours up urine urine test urologist volunteer volunteering Volunteerism volunteers Wake Up Call Breakfast walk week winner World

Archive

November 2019(0)
October 2019(2)
September 2019(7)
August 2019(6)
July 2019(5)
Juin 2019(0)
May 2019(5)
April 2019(4)
Mars 2019(5)
February 2019(6)
January 2019(4)
December 2018(1)
November 2018(1)
October 2018(3)
Septembre 2018(4)
August 2018(0)
July 2018(2)
June 2018(1)
April 2018(2)
February 2018(2)
December 2017(2)
October 2017(1)
April 2017(2)
February 2017(1)
December 2016(2)
July 2016(2)
May 2016(1)
March 2016(1)
December 2015(1)
November 2015(1)
September 2015(1)
July 2015(1)
June 2015(1)
April 2015(2)
March 2015(2)
February 2015(2)
January 2015(2)
December 2014(4)
November 2014(2)
August 2014(1)
July 2014(2)
May 2014(2)
April 2014(1)
December 2013(2)
November 2013(3)
October 2013(1)
September 2013(6)
August 2013(2)
September 2012(4)
August 2012(1)
June 2012(1)
April 2012(1)
March 2012(3)
February 2012(2)
January 2012(1)
October 2011(1)
June 2011(2)
January 2011(1)
November 2010(6)
October 2010(3)
September 2010(3)
August 2010(4)
July 2010(2)
February 2010(3)
January 2010(1)