When I went to Falls festival, New Years in 2012 and I met a really awesome girl that was selling things to raise money for the Cancer Council. I saw her around the festival a number of times and had some good chats with her about what she was doing. She was in remission from Hodgkins Lymphoma and had been spending a year road tripping around Australia raising money for the Cancer Council. I think she ended up raising nearly $100,000. I clicked with Vanessa straightaway; you know when you just like someone straight off the bat? Can tell you are going to be friends? That was her. I remember thinking what a moving person she was, to be so positive about life, even after everything she had been through. I became friends with her on FB and we exchanged digits. In the last couple of weeks, I wrote to her and let her know what was going on with me and she let me know she was dealing with a recurrence of her Hodgkins. She sent me pages and pages of advice on alternative therapies, nutrition, tips for chemo etc. She called me last week to give me some more advice, particularly about lymphedema as she was dealing with it herself and was aware that I had some lymph nodes removed, so we chatted about all the things you can do to prevent getting it. My favourite one was that she told me to get a mini tramp and jump for ten minutes a day to get the lymph fluid flowing through your body! The emails she sent me were really detailed and informative about things that had proved to be beneficial to her and others. I spoke to Vanessa just last week, on the phone, and all she was trying to do was support me and help me through this.
I woke to some absolutely devastating news this morning – Vanessa passed away, peacefully with her loving family around her earlier today. She spent her last few years giving her life away to try and help the cause. She spent her last few weeks on this earth sending me information, consoling me and wanting to help me. Her last email to me ended with
‘You got this girl! Xxx’
My sadness is for her family, enduring the hardship of caring for her and now grieving this amazing person who is not physically with them anymore. I feel so sad for the world, that we have lost someone with a clear power of influence that only had a short amount of time to do so. But I know she is in a better place and she is no longer in pain. What a beautiful soul. I feel absolutely privileged that she wanted to give some of her last time on this earth, to try and help me. Vanessa liked to write, too – http://www.innerness.com.au