I want to take a moment to thank Cornelia Naylor and the Times for reporting my story. Cornelia did an excellent job and was very compassionate and I applaud her ability to tell and print the exact truth. Thank you Cornelia.
I am so grateful to her that words simply can't explain.
I want to thank my friends, family and community for their continued help, prayers and support for without them I would not be able to continue stress-free without worry of how I am going to pay my bills and my medications during one of most challenging times I have faced in life.
On Dec. 31 I had my third round of chemo and have five more chemo treatments and I am awaiting a meeting with the radiologist/ oncologist to find out how much radiation I will receive. The funds that have been contributed and graciously received will hold me until mid March.
It is really humbling to find myself in a position of need as I have always have been totally self-reliant being that I was a single mum with little support from my children's father, working most of the time two or three jobs to support my family, to all of sudden having to rely on others. Well, let's just say it has been one of the most humbling experiences in my life.
Please accept my heartfelt thank you for all of your help. This is such a humbling yet ever so grateful journey.
I am overwhelmed by the notes of love and generous donations made to me. The gift I have received from this journey is one of love, compassion, understanding from so many people. I am truly blessed by this and I ask myself how many people in their lifetime get to see just how much they are loved and cared for even by complete strangers. There simply is not one word in the English language that seems to express this feeling I have in my heart.
This cancer diagnosis was not expected but I suppose that is why it is called the silent killer. I had no idea that this cancer was lurking inside my body like a silent thief in the night, prowling through my body and eventually settling in and stealing my left breast. I urge everyone to be diligent in receiving mammograms and be diligent in breast self exam. Breast cancer, when caught in the early stages, is very beatable and treatable.
On another note, I just want to take a moment here to urge you all too please contact Mark Strahl or your local MP as I am continually frustrated by our government ignoring its sick. There really is no help out there for us. It is disgusting that this should even happen to people at one of the most stressful times in their life.
As an ex-employee of the Government of Canada (I worked as an assistant to members for refugee claims at the Immigration Refugee Board) I worked with the wonderful judges who do a wonderful job in the capacity they have to make decisions on refugee claims. Our judges are bound by our laws and at times feel their hands are tied by that. However, I am sure you all would be outraged to know the money our government gives to these illegal arrivals is more than our old age pensioners, our war veterans, our disabled people, people collecting EI receive. I will tell you I have yet to read the changes to the Refugee Act that have just occurred but up until recently this is what they would receive from our government. An illegal immigrant arrives on our shores, not always, but a majority of the time, they are fleeing a crime in their own country. They usually have to pay a considerable sum of money to a smuggler who finds them passage here.
Once they are on the way here all documentation magically disappears or they have counterfeited identities. They arrive on our shores, at our borders at our airports every single day. They are processed, they are questioned, and it's very evident that they have been coached before arriving to state they are claiming refugee status in Canada. The following is an example of how our tax dollars are spent on them. We house them, feed them, pay all medical and dental bills (I believe this may have been changed recently-not 100 per cent sure) all medications paid for, legal assistance covered while they plead their cases and a monthly benefit is paid to them by our government. These cases can take months, even years, to get to the hearing stage and all the while we the people who pay taxes who work in this country pay for it. Even if a refugee claim is denied they are able to stay here on our dime while they launch an appeal into that decision. They can work if they want and are given a temporary work visa.
Please, do not get me wrong, I am totally in support of true refugees that arrive in Canada, ones that come through the proper channels and are truly fleeing from atrocities of war, of inhumane conditions or treatment. I do welcome them with all my heart. It's the illegal criminal elements that I don't agree with our government supporting. There are many government programs to assist them-all on our dime.
I am outraged that they receive the best treatment possible we roll out the red carpet for them, but if you are a Canadian who has worked here paid your taxes and your dues and find yourself in the unfortunate position of being without a company-sponsored disability program and have to rely on EI sickness benefits, once your 15 weeks of allowable EI runs out you are kicked directly to the curb. I still have eligible EI benefits which I paid into and I now forfeit because I have cancer beyond the 15 weeks of sickness benefits I was allowed. This is cruel. It is unjust.
I do realize that I am one of the blessed ones who is fortunate to have a family, friends and a wonderful community that is helping me. I am worried about the ones who do not have this in place. I am frustrated by the run-around and by the lack of care and accountability of our local MP who promised me that he would speak directly to the minister responsible for EI about my case. I was really upset that Mr. Strahl was not forthcoming in telling me he had voted against the bill that would have extended EI benefits to 50 weeks to people who are ill. I had to find out from another source and when I called him on it, well, I was given great lip service.
I have emailed and asked Mr. Strahl if he had spoken to the minister like he said he was going to on my behalf and I asked for a detailed copy of questions he put to the minister and responses received to date. Mr. Strahl has ignored my request and email.
As for the letter he wrote in support of my CPP claim he only wrote after many people, and I mean many, on my behalf contacted his office outraged that he would not assist me and write that letter. I had a conversation with him and it still took some begging and pleading with him to get him to write the letter that he should have just written in the first place when I asked him.
I thought our elected officials were for the people by the people but I don't see this happening at all. My intention, once I am well, is to be the voice to change this unfair practice. I really would appreciate everyone who feels this injustice to demand change.
Please contact our government officials and let them know how you feel about this. We need to stand up as Canadians and make our voices heard. We need change and our voices, combined are what will help make the changes.
I thank you all for your continued support and love.