Dear Team Grady Members and Supporters:
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
- Martin Luther
One cannot start this message without first thanking everyone for their relentless pursuit towards providing Stephanie and her family with the opportunity to access treatment in Boston for NUT Midline Carcinoma. As many of you know, Stephanie was in Boston for preliminary testing and screening recently, and was initially scheduled to return to Boston this past Wednesday to begin treatment.
This is why we rallied all of you – her army of blue – to stand beside her. In wearing your camouflage, bracelets and pins, you gave her strength with positive thoughts and prayers, as she prepared to transition to the next level.
Hours before her flight on Wednesday morning, the family received confirmation from Doctors in Boston and Ottawa, that as a result of her most recent CT scan on Tuesday, travelling to Boston would not be in her best interests.
As a fighter – Stephanie still did not want to give up. Yet, with the help of friends and family, she came to the realization that there was a difference between giving up – and accepting her circumstances.
Over the course of the next few days, the surprising aggressiveness of this cancer continued to rapidly deteriorate Stephanie’s health, leading to an unexpected yet peaceful passing from her home on Saturday morning.
We know that so many of us feel helpless. Please remember that above and beyond the support and unity this campaign has garnered (not only for the Grady family, but for a community), what it has allowed us to do is know we DID do everything in our power to ensure Stephanie had the opportunity to access this treatment. Although it was only once – she made it to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Your giving nature provided her, the Grady and the Doyle families with hope – and empowered a generation of individuals to make positive change.
Rest assured that we did NUT give up. No one did. We are still not. We articulated to people throughout the course of the campaign that their contributions were providing support and security to the Grady family. We will continue to do that – but it just looks different now. It’s bigger.
Terry Fox started with one step. He ran through the pain, and raised awareness. As a campaign and as individuals we will follow in his, and the footsteps of many others, as we move forward. Yes, it will be one step at a time. But it will be with focus and direction on the positive outcomes, the people she has inspired, and the many lives she will change in the future.
Stephanie, her courage, and her fighting spirit will NUT be forgotten. This is why, when you are ready, we call on all of you – her blue army – to dig deep and stand beside her in silence. In NUT Givin’ up - you give her peace - with positive thoughts and prayers, as she transitions to the next level.