Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Gratitude for Lorraine: Friends who make us better people

Today, I feel gratitude. Gratitude for the sun – maybe too hot for some, but I welcome the heat in our short summer; gratitude for my children; gratitude for my job, which allows me to work at my computer in sweatpants and no make-up and, finally, gratitude for friends … and particularly those who inspire me.

This past Sunday, I was fortunate enough to participate in a 5K walk to raise money for Multiple Myeloma Research at Princess Margaret Hospital. An old Queen’s friend, Lorraine McCallum, has been struck with this disease.  A healthy, fit woman aged 41 pregnant with her third child, Lorraine experienced incredible back pain, and when she gave birth, it was discovered it came from this incurable cancer, it was devastating to her and all those who loved her.

She gave birth to (healthy baby Katerina) but was not even able to hold her for the first 9 months of her life.  I never heard Lorraine complain and, during this mentally and physically devastating time, I often received her emails asking if I could help someone she knew who was looking for a job. You see, Lorraine, always thinks of others.

Eventually, with a very supportive husband and family and her close-knit pals, many of whom live near each other, she eventually regained her strength and now is in remission – though not cured - and commutes from Peterborough to work part-time promoting this annual walk to raise money for important research work for this incurable disease.

She is truly an inspiration to many. She is innately strongwilled, but does not impose on others. Peaceful but never passive and, continually, helpful to others – I had the honour of working with her as a career coach and I received the utmost helpful suggestions from her – she always made her critiques with the best of intention and I desired her feedback because I knew it would be thoughtful and wise. I believe her advice gave me more confidence in my abilities, and I am sure many have that feeling when they receive her genuine insight and heartfelt honesty.

There are those who simply through their supportive presence and actions seem to encourage us to be better people. Lorraine McCallum is one of these gifted individuals and let me tell you I  - and the  many devoted friends from Team Lorraine -was honoured to join her for this inaugural walk for Multiple Myeloma Research and its quest for the cure.  One walk for one special person and her support for all those needing our donations is truly an honour and I am grateful I was there walking with those alongside her.

Thanks Lorraine. You make us all want to be better people.
If you would like to support multiple myeloma research, please email:

Steffi Black

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