Norma Henderson
Nominated by Karen Simpkin

My mom was diagnosed 7 years ago with glioblastoma. She had just turned 66 and was looking forward to retirement. She suffered a seizure while driving her car (thankfully never made it out of parking garage). She had surgery the next day followed by six weeks of radiation and chemotherapy and then she agreed to do a trial of Avaglio.

While going through her treatment she maintained a sense of humour, always wanted to continue helping others (her mother lived with her and my step-dad) my grandmother was 87 at the time and was in failing health and my mom’s boyfriend had suffered through triple bypass, kidney cancer and had a pacemaker implanted. She accepted her diagnosis with acceptance, grace, a sense of humour and a need to be able to give something back to others. She said even if she didn’t survive she hoped the trial she agreed to would contribute to someone else’s survival.

She has just never failed to smile, laugh, bounce back and she just keeps going. They call her legendary at Sunnybrook in Toronto where she goes for her follow ups every three months. Her mom just passed away in October from colon cancer. We nursed her until she passed at my mom’s insistence she came home so that she would be comfortable in her own home. My mom’s spouse just went through abdominal aortic surgery which she was present at the hospital for his support. My mom continues to paint (always been her passion) she comes to my house a helps clean my house and look after my dogs. My mom is just the picture of hope. She inspires me to live life to the fullest and appreciate every day. I have never met anyone who puts herself second to everyone and just wants the best for everyone. She sees the positive in everything.