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"My wish is that we find a cure soon so other lives are not wasted needlessly. We need a cure. This is why I Relay."
It has been 15 months since I felt my life was lost. No, it wasn't me who contracted Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), but my beautiful wife. Sandy was just 55 years old when she lost her battle, and had been fighting this terrible disease for two years.
I have a photo of Sandy sitting on a cabinet in my bedroom, and when I look at the photo she seems to be so alive. Her eyes follow me as I move around the room. It doesn't seem real that she has been gone for so long, and I miss her more and more as time passes. I have a neck chain with her wedding ring and a cross containing some of her ashes, and it feels like she is close to my heart when I wear it. The days are long and lonely without her and I look forward to going to sleep and dreaming that she is still with me. I always said goodnight to her and told her how much I loved her, and I still do that every night before I go to sleep.
I don't look forward to waking as it dawns on me once again that Sandy is not there. I talk to her and tell her how much I love her and how much I miss her. I know and understand that this is not possible as I still have things to do on this earth, things that I know that Sandy would have given anything to have had the opportunity to do. We have two beautiful girls who are starting out in life, and our eldest is about to get married. This is something that Sandy had wanted to be a part of for so long. She had planned on walking her down the aisle with me. It is heartbreaking that she won't be there to do this. She was so looking forward to being a grandmother and had started knitting jumpers for grandchildren. She was such a beautiful, kind and loving person, and would have made a perfect grandma. She deserved to have that opportunity.
Our plans of a happy retirement travelling the world and babysitting our grandchildren together have been stolen from us. Every day is a struggle, and Sandy is never out of my thoughts. She was my entire world and we had 30 years of incredible life together, and for that I have to be thankful. Fifteen months have gone by, but it seems just like yesterday when she slipped away from us. I love her more than words can say and I miss her more than is imaginable. I will do what I can in honour and memory of Sandy and out of respect for the fact that she wanted this life so much. I would have swapped places with her in a heartbeat if I could, as she deserved this life.
GBM is a terrible disease that destroys lives. Not just the lives of those with the disease, but the lives of those who are left behind. My wish is that we find a cure soon so other lives are not wasted needlessly. We need a cure. This is why I Relay.
I am involved with the Peel Mandurah Relay and have a team who has participated for the past three years. The first year Sandy walked with us, but unfortunately she passed away just prior to our second Relay in 2013. We participated again in 2014 and it was a great and successful event.
I hope that my story will encourage others to get involved and support Relay For Life to find a cure for all forms of cancer.
* Sandy is pictured above