Every time the Olympic Games roll around, P&G honours both the athletes competing in the events and the moms that sacrificed so much to make their children’s dreams come true, both with amazing sponsorships and a moving commercial in honour of mothers everywhere. Watching the inspirational videos dedicated to the hard work of the moms never fails to make me tear up, and this year is no exception.
I have to say, though, that I think this year the video touched me even more than usual, because my mom has been going through one of her toughest battles to date. She’s always been an epitome of strength to me, raising five children on her own and making numerous sacrifices to ensure our happiness. But over the last year, she’s shown her strength even more in a battle against breast cancer.
Hearing the words come out of her mouth just over six months ago was heartbreaking. Her mother, my grandmother, died of breast cancer when I was just a preschooler, so the diagnosis struck immediate fear into my heart. The treatment was a mastectomy and a test done on a sample of lymph nodes to see if the cancer had spread. We were all hopeful that the test would come back clean and the mastectomy would be the end of it.
Sadly, our hopes weren’t realized. The tests showed cancer in the lymph nodes and my mom began chemotherapy shortly after. Initially she found the treatments bearable but in the final months, a severe bitterness in the mouth and intense muscle pain had her fighting to make it through the weeks following her treatments. Yet through it all, she battled on and even found the energy to write and share her experience with others both in the newspaper she edits and online. Now, with chemotherapy ended just over a month ago, she’s already making plans to host a big family gathering for my sister’s grad at the end of the month.
Her strength is a constant inspiration and a reminder to me to always strive and give my all, even when life seems impossibly hard. And when I watch the P&G Thank You, Mom commercial, I’m thinking about my mom’s strength as the tears come to my eyes. Without the support of my mom, I wouldn’t be where I am today. And there’s no question in my mind that without the support of their mothers, most of our amazing Canadian Olympians wouldn’t be where they are today either.
Over the next few months, I’ll have the chance to share stories from some of the Olympians that will be competing in Rio this year, including my personal favourites, the best friends and Canadian divers known as the FAB IV. These four women exude confidence, energy and happiness in everything they do, and their light-hearted spirit is an inspiration both in and out of the water. I can’t wait to watch them in Rio and it’s no surprise to me that all four of the divers say they wouldn’t be where they were without their mothers.
If you haven’t watched the touching tribute to mothers from P&G, be forewarned that you’ll probably shed a few tears when you do! The reminder of just how much our mothers have helped us become the people we are is sure to affect everyone, whether athlete, sports fan or not. Watch it for yourself and get ready to tune in to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games to cheer on our Canadian athletes. But first, don’t forget to take a few minutes to let your mom know just how much you appreciate all she’s done for you. I know that I’ll never stop learning from my mom’s strength, no matter how old I get!