Sunday, April 25, 2010

Believe


Less than a week until Shania's 4th annual fun fair! Where does the time go? Winter just flew by, maybe because of the mild weather I don't know. But here we are, 5 days before another family fun filled day for all. I checked the last time I updated Shania's blog and was shocked that it was in November. I would like to apologize for that, this is entirely my fault. So much has happened in the last five months and I will try to update as much as possible, But first I would like to focus on the here and now! Shania's fun fair just keeps getting bigger and better each year, we are adding on another building this year because we wouldn't have enough room for everything planned. Some of the new additions this year that we would like to thank for donating their time and effort for this great cause are the" Teddy Bear Clinic" from The Hospital for Sick Children, Leanne Brister, Jessica Miller, Andrea Hoover, Laura Walter and Kate Lynch child life specialists at the hospital are setting up a teddy bear hospital. The kids get a teddy bear, name it and decide what kind of illness it has, they get their picture with it and go through the hospital scenario talking to the doctors, x-rays, casts, bandages ect... as required for their injury, it's quite cute and the kids love it. Shania and Shannon did it at another SickKids fund raiser we went to and Shannon still has hers and Shania's bears with certificates, I think they really bond with their sick bears not unlike parents do with our loved children when they get sick and end up at this great hospital! Also a Medieval re-enactment club from a land far far away in the empire of York Region, by the title of Ealdormere will be duelling and battling for the honour of Shania's cause. Hopefully they won't end up in the teddy bear clinic needing medical assistance. Next to that we will have a inflatable called gladiator joist, which the kids get two big Q-tips and stand on pedestals and battle to the death or somewhere there abouts, again hopefully no teddy bear clinic visits for repairs either. Cody Bonnell and Melanie Mah from the show "So you think you can dance", will be performing and signing autographs, Steve Emmens the mesmerizing magician will be there, Tim Holland the hilarious ventriloquist/puppeteer and the "Wonderful World of Circus", "AB Dance", "Markham Gymnastics Club" are back by popular demand!
At 2:oo Pm Stacey & Dyson of Dyson Bruce hair studio will be cutting ten inches or more of hair off of and styling eight incredible young ladies whom are donating their hair to make wigs for children losing their hair from chemo treatments. Shannon and Claire did this last year and I can't say enough about how much this gift means to these children losing their hair, it's one of the most traumatic things of many that they have to deal with, especially girls! So in my books these young ladies are angels to these kids. Hopefully some day in the near future we will have less invasive treatments so that things like this won't happen. And that is where the research comes in. They are also fund raising for Shania's dream to find a cure! The picture of them is from the Economist & Sun newspaper. There names are Holly Dyson, Meredith Ward, Lauren Omoto, Rachel Ruffo, Ella Grammatikos, Emily Reardon, Lee Walduck and not in the picture above is Jessica Higgins. Please give generously and support their fund raising efforts : ) The link is www.sickkidsfoundation.com and click on (find a fundraiser) put their last name in and this will get you to their web pages.
We went to a lovely memorial last Sunday that SickKids does each year for families that have lost a child. It brought back a lot of memories of Shania and on the way home Shannon asked how Shania broke her arm when she was fifteen months old. (she fell running around playing kitchen in the living room, she had a play spatula in her hand) Shannon then asked if we still have the tiny cast still. Shania had it in her treasure chest of all things. So when we got home Shan wanted to see it, we opened it up and found this tiny purple four inch long cast. Also in Shania's chest was a laminated card that has a poem on it. Here's how the poem goes.
Believe
When somebody believes in you,
Just watch what you can do,
Climb for the very highest peak,
The greatest point of view.
It's all an inward struggle and
Belief can pull you through,
Especially if you believe in you.
When somebody believes in you,
Your attitude is great,
You live to run a classy race,
Right from the starting gate.
Though certain fans can give you strength,
a special one or two,
The strongest fan you'll ever need, is you.
Decide upon a worthy goal,
Then set about the task,
Not questioning the work involved,
'Cause winners never ask,
Believe that all things may be won,
Because my friend, that's true,
If only you can first believe, in you.
We are off to meet Bianca Teixeira from CTV, she is the MC for this years event.
We will always Believe in you Shania we will we will!
Love Shayne, Karen and Shannon

Sunday, November 08, 2009

We miss you Shania !!!!!

Yesterday was what should have been Shania's 11th birthday. This is a very tough day for us. Karen picked up some balloons, which we released at Reesor Park School by her tree and garden stone which has a plaque for her on it. We watched the balloons float off into the distance until we couldn't see them anymore. After that Shan wanted to show us a small wooden cross that was in the garden at the front entrance of the School not far from Shania's tree. It's for a lovely 12 year old girl named Riley Jay, whom passed away this summer in tragic car accident, which also claimed the life of her loving Grandfather also. Our hearts go out to Riley's family, we know all to well the pain and grief that they must be going through. Holly a good friend of Shania and Riley asked us last week where we got Shania's plaque that is at her School. Karen and I would like to help out in any way that we can, maybe we could help plant a tree in memory of Riley with a garden stone and plaque also. We know how much it means to us that Shania's friends did one in honour of her. Last night I got Shania's Toronto Maple Leafs hockey jersey out and put it on the couch beside me while I watched the leafs game. We used to put on our Leafs jersey's and cheer for the leafs all the time. Shania said she wanted to play for Team Canada in the Olympics when she grew up. Karen and I lit a sunflower candle for Shania last night also. Shannon had a Birthday sleep over at her good friend Paige's house. She wasn't to sure earlier in the week if she could do it, because it was on Shania's birthday. But she didn't want to miss her friends big night, so she went anyways. Shan called us a couple hours after we dropped her off and asked if we could bring a picture of Shania over for her. Karen went over with one and stayed for a bit. Shan was fine after that. I remember before Shania got sick, Shania and Shannon begging Karen and I to let them share a room together, they wanted to get bunk beds. They were so close as sisters, Shania was so proud to be Shannons big sister, she loved her sister so dearly so. And Shan loved her just as much back. We miss you Shania !!!!! We will always love you Shania, you are in our hearts forever!!!!!

Love Dad, Mom and Shannon

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince


Woke up early this morning thinking about Shania and what a wonderful little girl she was and still is in many (Shania, Meredith and Michele at Harry Potter Premier July 2007) ways! Her legacy is that she has touched so many peoples hearts. Shania had a special gift of finding that something special locked away in everyones hearts. She did this so naturally and so effortlessly without expecting anything in return. I think that this was and still is her key to our hearts. I can't help but think of my "buddy old pal" often, she will always have a special place in my heart. I'm listening to one of her four "Sunday Morning Classics" CD's that shania loved to listen to so much. This one is
Daybreak Reverie which has relaxing peaceful music by Chopin, Mozart, Bach, Tchaikovsky, Brams ect.. It has her name written on the front of it, so that it wouldn't get lost at The Hospital for Sick Children. July 19th has come and gone again! (For those of you that might not know, this was the day that Shania was freed from the grasp of this dreadful disease) Unfortunately she wasn't freed in the way that we had hoped for. This is sadly an all to common unhappy ending for children with stage four Neuroblastoma and Shania knew this! I think that is why she wanted to do something to help other children suffering like she was! Shania's Sunflower of Hope Fun Fair was Shania's gift to these kids! She thought it up on her own. She planned out what she wanted it to be like. She put her heart into it, I think that is why it is such a special event, because it has Shania's love for everything beautiful in it. I'm so happy to say that Shania's Sunflower of Hope Fun Fair raised $39,000.00 this year for Neuroblastoma Research! Wow! considering the economic conditions this is fantastic! I happened to be looking in our dictionary just minutes ago for a fancy word called Reverie :) and when I was picking it up the page that it opened to, it had the word "angel" on it. I swear to you know who. So I read what the definition of an Angel is and here is what it says. 1, An attendant of God, esp. A messenger. 2, A kindly woman. 3, a financial backer. I don't know if you are just one or are blessed to be all of these definitions. But on behalf of Shania. Karen, Shannon and I would like to thank everyone that has contributed to her Fun Fair, by volunteering or sponsoring or coming out and having a great time for a great cause. Thank you for backing Shania, Thank you for letting Shania open your hearts and thank you for being one of "Shania's Angels". Karen and I were invited to go to see the movie Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince with a lovely couple whom happen to be the parents of Shannons friend Rebeca. I hadn't really been thinking about seeing the movie. The last time we had seen a Harry potter movie was just before Shania passed away, she brought one of her friends Meredith with her to see a private screening premier. Shania loved the Harry Potter series of books and movies, we used to read the books every night before she got sick, she loved it! I know she would have loved to have seen this movie so much! She had such a beautifully vivid imagination, I could picture her growing up and writing such magical books like J.K. Rowling's does. She had that talent to turn normal or bland things into something mystical, magical and fun. The hard part is seeing the characters growing up in the movies and but not to get wondering what Shania would have been like these two years later. The movie was fantastic! Karen said that she thought that it was the best one yet! Thanks Kathleen and Mike for inviting us out to see the movie with you.
Warmest Regards & Happiest Day Dreaming
Shayne,Karen & Shannon
P.S. definition of Reverie is : A state of fanciful meditation; a daydream. Just in case you didn't know :)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Shannon And Claires cuts for Shania

After the devastating news that shania had this disease called Neur-o-blast-o-ma a childhood cancer of the nervous system, something that we had never heard of before. The doctors told us that they would have to operate to remove the tumour that was attached to the inside of shania's skull, which was putting pressure on one of the main arteries in her brain. This was going to be a very delicate and dangerous surgery for shania. After Karen and I regrouped ourselves from the "every parents worst nightmare news", the doctor , Karen and I told Shania about the operation that she would have to undertake. The very first question that she asked was will they have to cut my hair? And when we told her yes , this was Shania's most devastating news, they where going to have to shave her head. She was so upset that they would have to cut her long beautiful brown hair! The surgeon realizing what her hair meant to her, said that they would try not to shave her head , but that there was no guarantees. After the operation, which seemed like an eternity for Karen and I. Shania was so happy to wake up and find that they didn't indeed end up having to shave her hair off after all !!!!


Shania after her surgery. She was so happy :)
But this was just the start of Shania's journey with cancer. Next she would have to undergo chemotherapy which would cause her to loose her hair gradually. We didn't know how to break this to her all over again! Julie Constantine, Shania's clinic nurse whom she loved dearly, helped us tell her that we would never lie to her and that her hair was going to fall out from the chemo that she was going to have to take. It was so sad to watch her hair fall out in clumps at a time . The only thing that she had to look forward to was that she could get a wig made from the hair that someone had donated. She was so happy the day that she got her wig., it meant so much to her! We just wish that the person that donated there hair could have seen the joy in shania's eyes when she got her hair/wig. We would have loved to been able to thank them for this selfless gift from heart! Shannon was there though, when Shania picked up her wig and she did see that joy in Shania's eyes, she knew what it meant to the big sister that she loved so dearly. Just this winter Shannon on her own, asked if she could donate her hair so that kids with cancer could have a wig like Shania did. Shannon has beautiful naturally highlighted hair. Karen and I knew that some child would be overjoyed with her special gift!















Shania and Shannon at the Hospital For Sick Children
About two months ago a young lady by the name of Claire Flynn e-mailed us, you might remember Claire from Shania's blog, She is the brave 21 year old woman skydiving in Australia with Shania's T-shirt on. She mentioned that she wanted to donate her hair to a child with cancer also and was wondering if she could do a fund raiser at Shania's fun fair to help with her cause at the same time. We thought that this was a great idea and asked Shannon if she would like to do this also. She said that she really wanted to do it for Shania. So if anyone else is interested in donating there hair also, we have checked it out with Lynn Wilson and Pam-Osorio-Kettle at SickKids Foundation and they said that they could set up a web page on there website and do there fund raising through that. Claire is going to Zambia, Africa in June to help build houses with "Habitat for Humanity" We hope that she can send us some pictures of her there doing this most worthy cause. If you would like to donate to "Shannon and Claires Cuts For Shania" here are there web pages at the SickKids Foundation. Claires is : http://my.e2rm.com/personalpage.aspx?registrationID=618280 and Shannons is : http://my.e2rm.com/personalpage.aspx?registrationID=617829





Thank you Claire and Shannon for believing in Shania's cause and giving such a thoughtful gift to these children.

Love,

Shayne & Karen

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Lets make a difference together!

We had our last Committee meeting before Shania's huge annual fun fair, which is in less than two weeks away. There is a huge amount of work behind the scenes to set up this fun filled family day, but this is truly a labour of love for Karen and I. We have an incredible group of kind and caring people on Shania's fun fair committee, they take time out of there busy lives to help in Shania's cause. Karen and I would like to thank Anji Sharp, Janine Brauer, Jodi Folkes, Alison Lyon, Michele Ward, Terry Woods, Sandy Kerr, Nitsa Mangos, Robert Graup, Melissa Shorley, Lina Dinardo, Brenda Taylor, Heather Fornear, Adrienne Long, Sherry Coombs, Dana St Louis, Lynn Gomes, Paula Tobias ( Tim and Deb Fittler for Shania's Golf Tournament) from the bottom of our hearts for believing in shania's dream for a cure, which helps these children suffering from this dreadful disease. You cannot imagine what this hope means to these Children and there families. "Hope" is a powerful thing and without it there would be no chance for a cure. There are people that doubt that there will ever be a cure for cancer, but we have seen how committed the people at SickKids Foundation and The Hospital for Sick Children are in finding a cure for this childhood cancer. Everyone has been effected by cancer in one way or another, a spouse, a family member, a friend. To do nothing shouldn't be an option, this would be like turning your back on them and just waiting for the big C to hit you. They are saying that very soon 1 in 2 people will get cancer, this is fact not fiction. I've heard it being called the silent epidemic. But on the positive side of these facts are that we can turn things back around. Shania taught us a life lesson (: she wanted to be a teacher when she grew up :) that we should never forget and that is that anyone can make a difference, young and young at heart! We hope to see you and your friends at Shania's Sunflower of hope Fun Fair, lets make a difference together!

We will always believe in and love you Shania we will we will!
Love Shayne, Karen & Shannon

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Shania's Sunflower of Hope Fun Fair (May 2nd 2009)

Shania's 3Rd Annual Fun Fair is coming up fast! Sorry I haven't updated in awhile, I said that I would continue with the last update, that was two months ago! (My bad) As my sister Danielle would say. This winter seemed like it never wanted to end, but I know that it's almost over because Shania's fabulous spring fun fair is only a month and a half away! We have been busy planning out this years fun fair and it should be better than ever. It will be missing one very special thing though. Shania won't be there!!!! We were so happy that she was able to make it to her incredible labour of love the first year, she had excitedly planned it out! She was in so much pain at that time, but you wouldn't have known it. She was so happy to be there with all of her friends having such a great time. She was all smiles. This is what it's all about, seeing the kids having so much fun, while raising funds for this important cause. This is all made possible by you and our incredible community/Province/Country that we have here. So many special people pulling together Volunteering your time to help these NB families save there cherished children. The pain these kids suffer is seared into my brain, how they are so selfless and try to hide it as not to make you sad!!! They just want to have fun and play, they don't feel sorry for them selves. They are truly the hero's and are so inspirational.
We are changing some things up each year to make Shania's Fun Fair better and better. Hopefully we'll get a sunny day this year and be able to enjoy the outdoor fun also.
Gotta go, Shannon is having a sleepover at my Dad and Sandra's place for two days during the March break, she's very excited!
Happy March break :)
We will always believe and love you Shania we will we will!
Love Shayne, Karen, Shannon & Whiskey

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Shania's Sunflower of Hope Float




click on pictures to enlarge






It's a new year and we have so much to look forward to in 2009. Edward Chiu our website specialist has kindly offered to design a fresh website to match up with all of our other graphics for Shania's Sunflower of Hope Fund, so thank you for that Edward, we can't wait to see it. Last year at Shania's Fun Fair a fine man by name of Jim Sandford from the Markham Rotary Club asked us if we would be interested in having a float in the 2008 Santa Claus Parade ( they organize it every year and do an outstanding job of it if I may add ). We had no idea where we would be able to get a flat bed truck for the parade, but Jim mentioned that he might be able to check into it for us. He e-mailed us back that he indeed had someone. A company named Fairgreen Sod Farm owned by the Fairty family, said they would donate a 40 foot flat bed and truck for us to use in the parade and also a driver. We asked them if we could use there building the day before to decorate it in and Cam Fairty kindly said no problem. So now we set to figuring out how to decorate this huge 40 foot flat bed. A co-worker at my work does the Santa Claus float in Bradford and was of great help in giving us some ideas of how to go about designing a float, Wow I had no idea how much goes into designing a float, but it was fun, we knew how much Shania would of loved doing this. The only difference is that we wouldn't have been planning it out, she would of gotten out her home made clip board and have had it all figured out in no time flat, that was Shania, she had such a creative mind. She would have been bouncing around the house all excited about the Santa Claus Parade Float. I've got to go play hockey in our beer league right now, our team is named the Ice Pirates, I know Shania would have loved the teams name because her favorite movies were the pirates of the Caribbean. I will continue tonight or tomorrow about the parade, with pictures and much more!!! Wish us luck, we can use all the help we can get.
Shayne,Karen & Shannon

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What a wonderful life

Hope you had a Merry Christmas and we would like to wish you Happy New Years. 2008 just flew by, so many special things happened this year Shania's Sunflower of Hope became an official Fund, her 2nd Annual Fun Fair, 1st Annual Golf Tournament, 1st Shania's Sunflower of Hope Float in the Santa Clause Parade, Shania's Sunflower of Hope fund being honoured in the Donor Hall At The Hospital for Sick Children and so many other incredible moments that take your breath away, thanks to Shania and you Shania's friends. Her spirit lives on, she taught us so many lessons about how wonderful life is and how precious our time here is, to make every moment count. I found a song by Zucchero that reminds me of Shania here it is www.youtube.com/watch?v=teWFnLqjnuY&NR=1 Shania lived a short life but she made it a wonderful life, crammed full of happiness, kindness and love everything that life is meant to be about. We also found that a young man named Sean Pearl did a beautiful tribute for Shania on youtube, we just happened onto it last night. www.youtube.com/watch?v=_I9bzJirboI&feature=related Thank you for this Sean, it's very touching. Please say what you feel to the ones you love because before you know it, they could be gone. I will go into more details tomorrow about all the wonderful things that happened last year and the things to come in 2009. But for now Happy New years and hello baby 2009!!!!!
with love that is true,
Shayne,Karen & Shannon

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Shania Johnston Park !!!!!

Shania's 10Th birthday was on November 7Th. Karen, Shannon and I all took that Friday off and went down to the Royal Botanical Gardens again this year. It was a cool foggy day and the Rock Gardens are closed by then, but we are able to pull up beside the rock gardens in our car. We had three purple balloons with sunflowers on them and had attached small letters to Shania from each of us. This is a brutally hard thing to do, standing there on her B-day watching those balloons float off into the mist, over one of her favourite places, with notes that say things that we wish we could say to her, if there was only a cure for this disease. It is on this day that the crack in our hearts feel the widest and most painful. We cant help but wonder about her. What would she look like with those dimples, that beautiful caring smile with her being two years older, what would she have wanted to do on her tenth Birthday, so many what ifs flash through your mind on a day like this. It is so hard to go there on this day, but we wouldn't miss it for the world. It means so much to us. Now on to some much happier Birthday notes, we would like to thank Jessica Kerr on her 8Th Birthday for asking her friends to donate to Shania's cause in lieu of gifts and also Dawson Elliott for doing the very same kind and selfless gift to another child to help find a cure. Another thank you one of Shannons best friends 7 year old Megan Shorley for donated to Shania's cause in lieu of loot bags. Happy belated Birthdays to you all for giving with a gift of your heart. Your acts of kindness are like a song that Shannon just sang to Karen and I this morning. It's a song that she sang with her class on Remembrance Day here's how it goes:

Make A Difference
We can make a difference in our world today
Together we can make our world a better place
When we work together so much can be done
If all the children in the world would sing in unison

We know what's right and we know what to do
The future can be brighter It's up to me and you

Take my hand and join me sing along with me
When all the children join us there'll be a change you'll see
Do you have the courage? Do you have the pride?
Do you have a vision of a world where all is right?

We know what's right and we know what to do
the future can be brighter It's up to me and you

We can make a difference in our world today
Together we can make our world a better place
When we work together so much can be done
If all the children in the world would sing in unison
We know what's right and we know what to do
The future can be brighter It's up to me and you

Beautiful! Maybe they could sing this at Shania's Fun Fair we'll have to ask mrs Wellman, whom so happened to be Shania's teacher when she started to get sick. She is an inspiring teacher, with a kind heart, just like I think Shania would have been. We would like to thank Dawn and Mark Caswell for having a huge "something or another" birthday party for Dawn and having everyone donate to Shania's Fund also in lieu of gifts. Thank you Caswell Family for letting us know that we are not alone in missing our sweet Shania's it is very comforting to know how many hearts Shania touched.
Does anyone want to go on a picnic because the town has informed us that instead of naming a street after Shania they are going to name a park in her honour instead. Holy jumping junipers !!! We were all smiles when we heard this great news!!!! This is so much more special. We can't wait to see it!!!!
We will always believe in you Shania we will we will !
We will always believe in you Shania we will we will!!
We will always believe in you Shania we will we will!!!!
With love that is true,
Shayne, Karen & Shannon

Monday, October 13, 2008

Thankful !!!

A poem to Shania on Thanks giving day:

We are thankful to have a buddy old pal,
her name is Shania and we miss our pal more
than we ever could have foretold.

She is the sunshine on the darkest of days.

Always smiling with those dimples in her cute little ways.

She was a true friend , with a kind heart that
you could always depend.

Shania could make you laugh that was her way,
humour was always her most beautiful forte.

So on this day of thanksgiving we would like
to declare, how much we love you Shania for this
we do swear.

We will be forever thankful to have had you
as our true buddy old pal.


Written by your pals

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Shania's Sunflower of Hope Fund :)

It's been a busy summer and we have so many great things to update on, but the biggy is that Shania's Sunflower of Hope is now officially a fund for Sickkids Foundation. I know Shania would have been very excited about this great news. All she wanted to do was help other children who are suffering with this dreadful disease. The money that is raised will still be fast tracked through The James Fund for Neuroblastoma research at Sickkids labs. We are so grateful to a special little boy named James Birrell who also had this horrible disease and the Birrell family for setting up the Neuroblastoma research fund seven years ago, his spirit lives on by helping so many children and there families. James wanted to find a cure just like our Shania did and they still are because of people like you. Together in numbers we are strong and can help move the mountain that blocks better treatments and ultimately a cure for these children. So many people say that what they are doing is only a small thing, but all these small things add up to something huge. I'll update more tomorrow but right now I have to put Shan to bed and read her some bed time stories. Shan says that she wants me to write that she loves Shania's Sunflower of Hope Fun Fair.

With love that is true
Shayne, Karen & Shannon

Saturday, July 19, 2008

So Beautiful !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Karen, Shannon and I just got back from the RBG rock gardens. We went down around five and it started pouring rain most of the way down until we got there and then it cleared up. Just like on this day last year when Shania died. I remember her asking us if it was raining out. We took down a little garden fairy figurine that we had in one of our potted plants here at home. This is the second one that we have taken down to Shania's fairy princess falls. We also bought one at a garden centre out there in the spring, this was the first one we got, and its a little one that is sitting down and is kissing a flower in it's hands. When we put it there in the rocks of the falls this spring, we figured that it wouldn't be there the next time we came back. And sure enough it wasn't there when we came back. It was in another spot farther down the falls in a small cave like crevice. So the next one that we brought from our garden, we put it in the fairy cave to keep the other one company. This one we brought today, we put up at the top of the falls so we'll see if it ends up going down with the others. It had a broken wing so it might have a hard time getting down there. But these falls are quite magical so I wouldn't be surprised. Something that we also do is find a plant that has Little flowers on it and pick one for each of us and say a few loving words to Shania and through them in at the top of the stream and watch them float down. This place is so beautiful just like our Shania. We had the place to our selves because it had just finished raining which was even more special. We miss her so much, it just seems like yesterday that we had her with us, flashing that pretty smile, saying those funny and thoughtful things that she would say. She tried to protect us from all the pain that she was suffering from this horrible disease, not wanting us to worry about what she was going through. We think about her everyday, she is with us wherever we go, branded into our hearts forever, with love that is true.
We will always believe in you Shania we will we will !!!
We will always believe in you Shania we will we will !!!!!
We will always believe in you Shania we will we will !!!!!!!!
Love Shayne, Karen & Shannon

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Because of you

Wow what a busy spring it was!!! With Shania's 2nd annual fun fair and the 1st annual golf tournament, this spring just flew by. We have great news for Shania's fun fair tallies, we raised just over $41,000.00 total. Last year we raised $27,000.00 the day of, plus we added in the money that was donated into her account after Shania passed away in July, which added up to $40,000.00 . What a tremendous event it was again. Thank you to everyone of you who made this such a great time, for such a great cause. Thank you for believing in Shania's dream to help find a cure. Also Shania's first golf tournament ended up being a great success also. The weather turned out perfect for it, the wild life made a great showing also, from the snapping turtle laying eggs in the 3rd hole sand trap, to the Canada geese and there goslings on the 6Th hole , to the deer on the 2ND hole. We saw some birdies of the golfing kind also. Thank you to our great neighbors Tim and Deb Fittler for setting up this fun filled day for the grown up kids at heart. The day raised $4800.00, which brings the total to $45,800.00 going to Neuroblastoma research at Sick kids. Because of you believing in Shania's dream, we are going to help these children have a better chance of surviving this devastating cancer. Being this busy this spring has been good for us, it has given us something positive and special to focus on in Shania's memory. It is coming up to July 19Th marking one year since our beautiful fairy princess passed away. Because of you Shania, this world is a better place to live in. You have touch so many peoples hearts in special ways that few people can do. Because of you, we have learned how life is meant to be lived to the fullest. You have taught us so many lessons of life that great teachers do. I just finished a cycling challenge in Shania's honour called 'The ride to conquer cancer" for Princess Margret Hospital, a cancer Hospital. With all funds going to Cancer research. It was a 200Km route from Toronto to Niagara falls over last weekend. We called Shania's team, Shania's Sunflower of Hope " Dream catchers" I would like to thank two good Friends for believing in Shania's dream, Robert Graup and Richard Hawkins and joining her team. This was definitely a challenge, two years ago I could never imagined doing something like this. But with Shania's inspiration I now believe anything is possible. I wanted to bring something small of Shania's along with me. When I went into Shania's room I looked around to find something that she would have wanted me to bring. Then I spotted her bravery beads. All eleven feet of them. She was so proud of every single one of them. Each bead representing a different procedure, treatment, operation, Ect... I knew that this is what she would have wanted me to take the most. But there was one problem, my pockets on the back of my Jersey wasn't big enough to hold them all. So I tied the two ends together and glued all the knots of strings together, so I was sure that it wouldn't come apart and have her beads scattered from here to Niagara falls. Then I looped it around my neck at least four times to make a necklace out of it. I was just as proud as a father can be to wear this necklace of my daughters, knowing everything that went into its making. It was quite an emotional experience for me to do. The route that we went was along lake shore from the CNE, then went up north passed HWY#5 and then West toward my home town that I grew up in called Waterdown. To our surprise the route went right down Robson Rd by my dads house. My Dad and Stepmother Sandra were waiting for us out front, So we stopped in to quickly replenish our fluids and hit the road again, we slept over in Hamilton at the grounds of Mohawk College in a huge tent city that was set up there, food was great, beverages compliments of Steam Whistle brewery took some of the pain away. The next day we finnished the route ending up right next to Niagara Falls. This fund raising event was incredible organized from start to finish, not an easy feat considering there was 2850 riders. Shania's team ended raising over $8000.00 and the grand total for the event was $14,000,000.00 If anyone would like to join us on this incredible journey next year, go to http://www.conquercancer.ca/ and look up Shania's Sunflower of hope "Dream catchers" we would love to have you on our team. Karen and Shannon met me in Niagara falls and we stayed over Sunday night at the falls and spent some quality time together.
I will always believe in you Shania I will I will!
I will always believe in you Shania I will I will!!!
I will always believe in you Shania I will I will!!!!!!!
with love that is true
Shayne, Karen & Shannon

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The big suprise !!!

What a day Shania's Fun Fair turned out to be, it started out with a beautiful introduction by Lisa Dilworth the new Principle at Reesor Park School, Shania and Shannons School. Then Dr Baruchel ( Shania's Oncologist from the hospital for Sick Children) did a moving Speech about the innovative research being done at the hospital and about the courageous children struggling with Neuroblastoma. Also Dru Soo from Rogers television talked lovingly about Shania and her cause. Then the festivities began. First up were the Sizzling Sunflowers, which is a group made up of Shania's friends (Meredith Ward, Jacklyn Lafontaine, Madeline Graup, Natalia Mangos, Jessica Gomes, Holly and Chloe Dyson) and sister Shannon, singing a fun song about Shania. This was written by Elaine Dubyna along with the next song sung by Amy Pipher. These are very touching songs from the heart. Karen and I had soggy eyes listening to these being performed so beautifuly about our daughter. They have a CD done up, with these and the melody that Shania wrote. This was recorded with Ruth, Shania's music therapist and a Harpist named Jacqueline. The final song on the CD is by Shania, singing the song she wrote about her mommy, "I love you forever". We will be putting this CD in Shania's store, with all proceeds going to music therapy at the Hospital for Sick Children. The day started off outstanding and just kept getting better and better as it went along. Seeing all the kids having so much fun getting there faces painted, having their hair done in the funky hair zone, walking around with Circus Du Sala looking balloon hats, playing all the games, bouncing in all of the bouncy castles. riding the ponies from Lionel's pony farm, climbing the rock wall outside in the rain. playing with the exotic animals from Wimz, getting autographs from Steve Thomas and Jeff Keeping. The list of fun just goes on and on. Micheal Burgess sang an incredible rendition of "you raise me up" one of Shania's favorite songs. Wow what a voice he has! Also the Reesor Park Sunflower Singers sang beautifully. Then the big surprise came. Frank Scarpitti arrived and was supposed to tour the fun fair, but instead he wanted Karen, Shannon and I to come up on stage with him because he wanted to do the 50/50 draw and say some words about Shania and her cause. But to our surprise, after the draw and speech, he handed us a gift to be opened. Inside was a sign and on it said " Shania Johnston St" with a Sunflower beside it. He then announced that the city of Markham is going to name a Street after Shania. We were blown away!!! We didn't see this coming at all. A feeling of pride just flooded over us. What a honour to Shania from this incredibly caring community called Markham. I don't think that there was a dry eye in that building after that. I could picture the smile that would have been on Shania's face, if she was still with us. But she was indeed there smiling in our hearts. On behalf of Shania and our family I would like to thank you Frank and everyone in this great community for bestowing this huge honour on our Shania. And as Diane Birrell of the James Fund said, we'll have to have a great big Street Party!!! I could go on and on about this fun day, it had such a special feel about it. But to sum it all up, it was the smiles on all of the kids and their parents faces. That is what Shania's fun fair is all about " Having fun" life is to short not to!!!! All the while helping children and their families suffering from this dreadful disease. Karen and I are going to do Megans walk tomorrow along with Shannon. This will be a day of mixed emotions for us. Mostly sad ones I feel. Shania wanted to do this walk so badly, along with Karen last year. And now she is gone. After that we are going down to the Royal Botanical rock gardens, to Shania's fairy princess falls as we call them. They have the tulip festival going on there now also. It is a sight to see, all these flowering bulbs and the many colours and scents of spring. Shannon gave Karen a pedicure to make her feel good tonight. I think she knows how sad of a day it's going to be for Karen and wants to cheer her mom up. This is very thoughtful coming from a six year old.

Have a special Mothers Day moms!!!
All the best
Love Shayne,Karen, & Shannon

Friday, May 09, 2008

What a beautiful day

This labour of love called Shania's Sunflower of hope Fun Fair turned out to be another beautiful day. Even though it rained again, this indoor fun fair shinned as bright as any sunflower can. This Fun Fair is what Shania is all about, fun loving, caring, kind, happy, smiling, living for the moment. You can see it in the great people who helped organize this event, the special people and companies who sponsored it, the talented people who entertained at it. And you the people that came out and had a great time for a great cause, to help these children suffering this horrible monster of a disease. On the morning that Shania died it was pouring rain outside, Shania was in and out of a dream like state as her body struggled in exhaustion to breath against this cancer that had spread to her lungs. Her mind was clear when she would wake up, she asked us if it was raining out and we told her yes that it was pouring out. She gave both Karen and I a big hug, at the same time (A hug that I will never forget as long as I have breath in my lungs.)
Shannon had woken up and came into Shania's room and Shania told her that she loved Shannon. And not long after that she was gone. Then the sun came out and shinned bright for the rest of the day. It was similar at the fun fair, after Shania's grampa George and I picked up the last load of stuff and drove out of the Markham Fair grounds gate the sun came out of the clouds and into solid blue skies. To me this was a tribute to Shania, that even on the rainiest of days you can enjoy yourself no matter what. It's what you make of life yourself. While we're on the subject of life, a volunteer Andrea Lack at the fun fair told me that a little boy around five or six was waiting to go on the fun fair park bouncy castle and he told her that "this is the best day of my entire life"!! This is the best compliment that can be said about Shania's Fun Fair and all the people that are part of this labour of love. The volunteer that I just mentioned Andrea Lack has a little boy named Sam whom had Neuroblastoma stage three, he has been in remission for a while now and they have a birthday/fun fair fundraiser party called Sam's day you can check it out at http://www.samsday.org/ they gave us the idea of having passports that the kids can get stamped while playing the games. Shania loved this treasure hunt to win a prize idea. All the best to you, your family and friends at this years event. I will go into more details about shania's Fun Fair and the big surprise!!!! tomorrow or I guess it's today, right now I have to try to get some sleep, Ive been up since three AM yesterday morning and it's now twelve o two AM now.
All the best,
Love Shayne,Karen and Shannon

Monday, April 28, 2008

Shania's Dream catchers

I can't believe It's less than a week til Shania's fun fair. It seems like yesterday that we wheeled Shania into her first fun fair. The look on her face wiped away all the pain that we had in our hearts for that one day. She was in so much pain from the cancer in her spine, but nothing was going to keep her from being there, she was determined to be with her friends at this beautiful event that she had created and lovingly planned out. As soon as she got back to the hospital after that incredible day she got out her clip board and started planning out this years fun fair. She put so much love into this fun fair. How we wish she could be here for this one also, to see that look on her face just once more. She won't be there physically this year, but she will be in our hearts. On behalf of Shania, Karen and I would like to thank everyone that is involved in making Shania's Fun Fair a truly special event in this great community.
Karen, Shannon and I went to Sick Children's hospital Memorial yesterday. This was held at the University of Toronto in one of there older buildings. This Memorial was for families that had lost a child at the hospital in the last year. This building was like an old castle, with it's thick wooden doors and a large court yard in the middle of the building, stained glass everywhere. We followed the signs pointing us to the ceremony through the old corridors. It felt like we would be meeting up with a King or Queen at any moment. The ceremony was in a large cathedral like hall with huge stained glass widows and long steel chandlers hanging down throughout the hall. On the chairs we found paper leaves with pens to write a note to our loved ones, to be hung on small trees up front. Ruth, Shania's Music Therapist started off the ceremony by playing the melody that Shania had wrote while in the hospital. Ruth played the flute along with her friend Jacqueline on the harp. The acoustics of the hall sounded wonderful, with shania's melody wafting through it. It brought Karen and I to tears. Karen later said to me that it had a mystic feel of fog over the still water of a lake. Thank you for that Ruth, very beautiful! Another song that is called "above the clouds", was beautifully sung by Amy and Jen two nurses that Shania was very fond of and had great times with at the hospital. It was great to see some of these great people from the hospital again. We miss them, they had become just like family to us. I don't know how we would have gotten through that year and half without there genuine love, support and kindness. We would like to congratulate Bronwyn and Jes two of Shania's nurses that are expecting new arrivals soon, you deserve all the best that motherhood will bring into your life. It was also great see Julie "Bob" Constantine, Karen Fung, Karen Drysbrough and everyone else there that make this hospital such a special place for our sick children and there families.
While we are on the subject of great Hospitals. Shania had gotten radiation treatment at Princess Margret Hospital to control her excruciating pain from the Neuroblastoma in her spine and legs. We would take the long underground tunnels winding from one hospital to the other for her treatments and back. In honour of what they did to help Shania with her cancer and other children suffering with this horrible disease. I am going to do the Princes Margaret Hospital "Ride to conquer cancer" along with one of Shania's best friends father Robert Graup and our neighbor that used to live across the street from us Richard Hawkins. I would like to thank these good friends for joining us on this 200Km cycling challenge from Toronto to Niagara Falls. Our team is called "Shania's Sunflower of Hope Dream catcher's". It will be held on June 20th-22nd. If you would like to sponsor Shania and her team to help find a cure click here
www.conquercancer.ca
I am going to take a picture of Shania and I riding our bikes together with me, along with one her charms and the training schedule that she wrote up for me to do " The ride for Karen" last year.

I will always believe in Shania I will I will !!
I will always believe in Shania I will I will !!!!
I will always believe in Shania I will I will !!!!!!!!!
With love that is true
Shayne,Karen & Shannon

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Holding hands

Yesterday Karen, Shannon and I sadly attended a funeral for a good friend of ours Steve
Farquhar. We had great times with Steve going on ski trips to Vermont and Quebec. White water rafting in Ottawa, going Camping. We would like to pass on our deepest heartfelt condolences to his family. Karen and I hadn't seen him in a number of years, but the most striking thing that I will always remember about this fun loving character nicknamed (Sparky) was his smile, just like Shania he had an incredible smile that could light up the darkest of rooms and make everyone in it feel good. You will be sadly missed by all that know you" Spark". Shannon talked a lot about Shania on the way home. How she misses her big sister. She mentioned about a time when Shania was starting to get pain in her knee just before we found out that she had relapsed. Shannon had helped her down the stairs by holding her hand and when they got down stairs and started playing together, she said that Shania told her " You know that I love you, don't you Shannon". I think that Shania knew that the cancer was back and wanted her little sister to know how much she loved her. What a beautiful gift to give to her little sister, for which I think she will cherish for the rest of her life. It's amazing how the little things done with compassion, caring and kindness can mean so much and make such a difference in peoples lives. Like the time that they asked that I would put a letter in their envelope mail boxes outside there doors which I did quite often. I forgot to put them in there the in the morning, it was totally my fault, but when Shania woke up and noticed that I hadn't put a note in their mail boxes. She wrote one up for Shannon. I have it in front of me right now and it says "I love you Shannon ( with a picture of two hearts) P.S. Keep on smiling. Love Shania". This is another one of those many little things about Shania, Karen and Shannon that mean so much to me. Another little thing that means so much, was when Shania was near the end of her life. We were at home and we had sleep overs with her every night of that last week. She had a oxygen mask full time by then as the cancer spread in her lungs. We had pillows on the floor beside her bed, that Karen and I would take turns sleeping on every other night. Shania wanted to hold hands, talk and joke about stuff, so we would fall asleep and wake up holding hands together. It was just as comforting for me as it was for her, I think. To be able to let her know how much I loved her and was there for her meant everything to me. Holding someones hand is one of those little things that can mean so much, but we take it for granted. I'm sitting hear listening to Shania's favorite CD, Sunday morning Classics "Loves first glow" with it's orchestral soothing melody's, I haven't listened to it in a while so it's comforting to this sad dads heart to hear again. I just wish I could hold my baby girls hand and see that sweet smile again. Don't let those little moments slip by, make sure you have them, because they can last a life time.
Shania loved this saying and used it often "Smile and the world smiles along with you" it's so true, it's contagious, Shania and Sparky knew this all to well !!!

Keep on smiling :)
Love Shayne,Karen & Shannon

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Shania believes in Sickkids !!!!!!

Karen, Shannon and I are going to be on Sickkids radioathon on Wednesday march 26Th. First on CFRB at 4:00PM and then EZ Rock at 5:00PM to talk about what Sick Children's Hospital and the incredible people there meant to Shania and our family. It is hard to even try to begin to explain how grateful we are that we have a facility filled with such dedicated and caring individuals, all working for the same goal." To save children's Lives" It must be so hard for them to see these beautiful little children suffering from terrible diseases and conditions. This is where the fund raising comes in. Before Shania got sick with Neuroblastoma I had no idea that Sick Children's Hospital is one of the worlds leading research Hospitals. All working hard to find cures for things like Childhood cancer. They aren't doing this to feed a huge corporate machine. They are just plain and simple trying to save our kids lives and possibly kids all around the world at the same time. Sick Children's Hospital was there for us when we needed them and so where you the people that support Sickkids. And if our family can help in any way possible we will because we know first hand how important it is!!! Shania loved the people of Sick Children's hospital, this I believe is part of the reason why she wanted to help them find cures for other children suffering like she did.
We would like to thank Jennifer Brown and the Toronto Star for doing a lovely article in Shania's memory and her cause. It was in their Sickkids pull out section. Very touching! Thank you.

I will always believe in Shania I will I will !
I will always believe in Shania I will I will !!!
I will always believe in Shania I will I will !!!!!!
With love that is true!
Shayne, Karen and Shannon

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Cherishing her memory


Shannon got this from Evergreen hospice where her and one of Shania's good friends Chloe and Holly went to share there love for Shania. Thank you everyone at Evergreen for being there for us.
Here is something that Shannon wanted to write about her big sister: With love from Shannon Shania was nice, she wanted to be a teacher. She was like a teacher, she was a teacher.
Written by Shannon Johnston
P.S. Shannon wanted the colours of this text because pink is her favourite colour and red is Shania's

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Shania's Sunflower of Hope Golf Tournament

Karen, Shannon and I have just recently done an interview with the Toronto Star newspaper because they want to put Shania in there Sickkids special section coming up on March 20Th. This was an easy/ hard thing for us to do. Easy because we love Shania so much and want to carry on her cause, but also hard because we miss her so incredible much. It has almost been 8 month (July 19Th 2007) since Shania's passing away, but the pain of losing our beautiful little girl is still so very raw. You would think that time would start to heal that pain, it doesn't, it's still there just under the surface. I don't know about other losses, but I can't imagine anything to much worse than the loss of your child. Karen and I also did an interview for a fine lady named Jacinta Palud, whom is the Godmother to a 3 year old boy named Sebastien. He was born with a disease called Gastroschisis. He has had a liver and small bowel transplant and is waiting for a kidney transplant. Jacinta does a blog for Sebastien and his family on there website. She wanted to interview us about how karen and I stayed together and happy despite the challenges of the last year and half. We are know experts in this field, but were happy/sad to share our experiences. Here is the link if you would like to take a look (stay strong Sebastien and family:) http://placedechoix.wordpress.com/2008/03/03/an-interview-with-shanias-parents/ We have been busy with Shania's Fun Fair which is on May 3Rd at the Markham Fair grounds again this year. We have added on another building this year which will be an interactive sports zone for the older kids and adults, now all we need is a sponsor to put there name in front of this zone. Shania wanted a Ferris wheel for this fun fair but I don't think that we will be able to afford that this year. We are very excited about this and also Shania's Sunflower of Hope Golf Tournament, which will be held on June 6Th which is coincidentally the day that Shania was diagnosed with this horrendous disease in 2006. Our neighbors Tim & Deb Fittler came up with this idea and are graciously organizing this event. We are looking for volunteers and sponsors for this or the Fun Fair, which are such a worthy causes to fund research at Sick Children's Hospital. e-mail us at shania.com@rogers.com . I will try to update more often

Thank you for caring and sharing!
Sincerely with love,
Shayne, Karen & shannon

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Our special Valentine

Click on picture for enlarge


Shania's first Valentine's day, she is three months old here Feb 1999. Shania was such a happy baby alway's smiling and inquisitive. She will always be our special Valentine !!!

Happy Valentines day.
With love that is true
Shayne,Karen & Shannon

Saturday, January 05, 2008

With love from Peru

One of Shania and Shannon's best friend's stopped by for a visit just before Christmas. Her name is Sarah Legault. She had just recently returned from a vacation she has dreamed about most of her life. She went to see Machu Picchu the lost city of the Incas in the Andes (One of the new Seven wonders of the world.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/new_seven_wonders_of_the_world ) We met Sarah at Sick Children's Hospital last year. Sarah works for Sickkids Foundation and was huge in helping us organize Shania's Sunflower of Hope Fun Fair. The girls love her to bits, Shania would be besides herself when she knew Sarah was coming for a visit with her. We are honoured to have such a special friend, you truly are a beautiful person. Also a big Congratulations upon getting engaged on the 28Th of December, we wish you and Jeff all the best.
With love from,
Shayne,Karen,Shania and Shannon ( I had to put Shania in there because she would have been so thrilled to know that you wore one of her shirts at your "Empire in the sky")

P.S. I don't know what your plans for your honeymoon are, but there are six more new wonders of the world left :0) wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more, say no more.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Kids believe in Sickkids

"Proud"is the word that comes to my mind when we were invited to accept Shania's award as top fundraising individual for 2007 at Sickkids. Shania accomplished so much in such a short time. And to do all of this while being so sick herself with this devastating disease, was truly astonishing. She did this fundraising because she was such a caring person. She was always like that, thinking about others before herself. Always a kind word if you were down. Even when she was at her sickest she would be worried about our feelings. Not wanting us to be hurt by what she was going through. This is the Shania that I am so proud and Honoured to be the father of. I went through some of our videos of Shania for a bio that they did for the Sickkids giving gala. This was a very hard thing to do, but at the same time it was nice to see her smiling face with those beautiful dimples and hear her sweet voice again. The bio was very touching to watch. I will see if I can get the link to it. Karen and I did some interviews on the radio stations EZ Rock, CFRB 1010 and the Mix FM about Shania and Sickkids giving gala. This also wasn't easy for us to do either. But we are glad we did because I finally got to meet my girlfriend. I used to kid Shania about who her boy friends were, so one day when she came home from the hospital with Karen, she said that she knew who my girlfriend is. I of coarse asked who this girlfriend could be? She said "daddy and Colleen sitting in a tree K I S S I N G ! So my next question was, where do I know this Colleen from. She said she's on the radio station EZ Rock in the morning on the show called Stu and Colleen, she's your girrrrrrl friend. This was one of our jokes with each other from then on. So it was really interesting how I finally got to meet my girl friend in Shania's honour. After we were off the air, I told Stu and Colleen about what Shania had said about Colleen and I. Colleen asked me if my wife knew about us. I told her that Karen was with Shania when she thought this up. We all had a good laugh about it. This was Shania also, always finding ways to make life fun. I'll write more about the giving Gala and see if I can put some pictures of Shania's friends accepting her award on her behalf. right now I've got to try to get some sleep, it's almost three thirty AM.
I will always believe in Shania I will I will !!!!
I will always believe in Shania I will I will !!!!!!!!!!!
I will always believe in Shania I will I will !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Shayne, Karen and Shannon.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Believe in yourself and great things will follow.

Shania wanted to be a teacher when she grew up. But I don't think you have to be grown up to qualify as one. Shania taught us so many lessons in life in her short time here. And one of these lessons was that you have to believe in yourself. Even when things in life seem to be at there worst. You have to find it within yourself, it's there if you look hard enough. This is where your love, strength, courage, passion is. Shania was an example of all these traits even when she was at her sickest moments, she never gave up. Shania taught us that you have to live every day like it is your last and don't hold anything back. She did this and then some from day one when she came into this world this 11lb bundle of joy. Shania's passion was to find a cure for Neuroblastoma so that no other children have to suffer from this horrible disease and this she still is doing through us and the love we have for her. Another one of her passions was hockey, which we both shared together. She loved to play it and she loved to watch her beloved T.M.L . (The. Mighty. Leafs.) Shania's love for hockey has inspired me to start playing hockey again. I haven't played since I was 16 years old (which was 27 years ago) for the Flamborough sabre allstars. I am thoroughly enjoying being back on the ice again, I proudly wear one of Shania's grey Sunflower of Hope t-shirts under my equipment. The name of our team is the Ice Pirates, which I know that Shania would have loved, The Pirates of The Caribbean were some of her favorite movies. It's amazing what we can learn from kids, if we let them teach us how to enjoy life like it's supposed to be lived and just have fun. On Nov 5Th Reesor Park School had a tree planting ceremony in honour of Shania. We brought some sunflowers and roses with us, Shannon and Karen placed them at the tree base of the tree. We also released some balloons. A large engraved garden stone was supposed to be coming on Friday. Thank you to Mr Green thumb landscaping for volunteering to plant Shania's tree at no charge. Also a sincere thank you to Nitsa Mangos and everyone else involved in doing this beautiful tribute to our Shania. Wednesday Nov 7Th was Shania's birthday and we went down to the Royal Botanical Gardens. We brought Shania's favorite meal with us Loblaws chicken and wedgies which we ate in our van when we got there. After that we went for a walk through the trails down to Cootes paradise and along the board walk in the marsh there. It was cool with a few flurries flying, but it was nice because we had the place to ourselves except for all the birds and squirrels. They are used to being feed and came running and flying from every direction. We had lots of bird seed and peanuts with us so we were ready for them this time. hundreds of them, Blue jays, Cardinals, woodpeckers, little black and white chickadees, morning doves, mallard ducks Grey squirrels black ones you name it, they all gave us a warm welcome and chowed down on the goodies right out of our hands . We ran out of peanuts when we were heading out and one Squirrel just kept following us. Shannon had a little bird seed left in her bag and the squirrel climbed up her leg and onto her arm and stuck his head right into her bag of seed looking for another peanut. It was good to see Shannon laughing and having a good time. Next we headed over to the Rock Gardens just up the road. They are closed for the season but the fence is close to where Shania's Fairy Princes Falls are. We had brought some balloons with us. One was a Tinker Bell balloon which Shannon wanted to release so we sang Shania happy birthday, Shan wanted to count are you one, are you two, are you three ......up to nine and then we released the balloons, which we had attached little notes to Shania from each of us. We stood there watching the balloons until we couldn't see them anymore. It was a sad drive home, but we are definitely glad we went. The Kids Believe in Sickkids award ceremony is this Tuesday. Shania is being honoured with "Top individual fundraiser". Karen and I will be on the radio stations "EZ rock" and "The Mix" around 8:30am to talk about what Shania has done for this great Sickkids Hospital. I just wish so much, she was here to except this award herself. Shania believed in herself and others, this is just one of the great things that have followed.
We do believe in Shania and her T.M.L. we do we do!!!!
We do believe in Shania and her T.M.L. we do we do!!!!!!!!
We do believe in Shania and her T.M.L. we do we do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Our hearts are with you J.B. keep strong.
Sincerely,
Shayne,Karen and Shannon

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Memorial Tree

Shan went to camp oochigeas the camp for kids with cancer. She went on the weekend, it was just for siblings who have lost a brother or sister to cancer. This is one of the camps that the Ride for Karen sponsors. Shan had a great time there and made lots of new friends. We are so proud to be a part of sending these kids to this incredible camp. The pictures from the ride for Karen are on there website if your interested in checking them out, go to http://www.rideforkaren.com/ Shan, Karen and I went out to camp ooch a couple of weeks earlier for the James funds first annual Neuroblastoma retreat weekend. This was a very hard trip for Karen and I to make, being so close to Shania's passing, but we felt that we had to be there. We arrived Friday night to a very warm welcome by the volunteers who helped everyone unpack there vehicles, get registered and parked. Once we were settled in to our room we walked over to the meeting lodge, which is in front of there lake, this was an incredible sight to see with the full moon reflecting off of the glass still water, and a mist rising over top, it gave it a magical feel to this amazing camp. It was great to see the Neuroblastoma families, Doctors and staff that we had met at Sick Children's Hospital . The Birrell family and all of the volunteers made this weekend a special one for the Neuroblastoma families. Shan had a great time playing the camp games, getting dressed up and doing all the crafts that the councilors had set up for them. We left early Sunday to go down to the Rock Gardens at the Royal Botanical Gardens and placed a stone from Camp Ooch by the Fairy Princes Falls. Shania would have loved to been at the James Fund retreat and we felt that this was a way to bring a bit of Camp Ooch to her. The Rock gardens are closed for the season now until next spring, but we are planning on going to the RBG on Shania's birthday and maybe have a picnic with Shania's favorite meal Loblaws Chicken and wedgies. They have paths through the wooded trails there and you can feed the birds and squirrels right from your hands. Hopefully the weather is good. Reesor Park School is having a memorial tree planting ceremony for Shania on Monday November 5Th, they are going to have a large garden stone with an engraving saying "In honour of Shania Ida Johnston our Sunflower of Hope Nov 07 1998-July 19 2007" It will be at the front entrance of the school. The tree will be a Serviceberry, which has beautiful white spring flowers and is very fragrant. Thank you Reesor Park School/community/family for honouring our Shania in this way. Shania would be very proud of this honour. This school was her home away from home, she loved everything about it, She wanted to be a teacher when she grew up and I think this is a reflection of this School and its beautiful people. Karen,Shannon and I are looking forward to going out to peterborough this weekend to do the Walk/Run for the James Fund. If anyone is interested in sponsoring us for this great cause go to http://www.runningroom.com/
Take care
Love Shayne,Karen and Shannon

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Proud to be a big sister

Shania cuddling her little sister on her birthday August 17, 2001. Shania was so excited to be a big sister, she couldn't wait to see Shannon and hold her, it was such a site to see. She had to wait 9 month and she could hardly contain herself.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Kids Believe in Sick Kids award

Another milestone has come and gone. Thanksgiving was yesterday and we had a lovely turkey dinner at Shania and Shannons Nanna And Grampas house (Sherry and George), GG(Great Grandma Marg)was there also. After dinner we went and played soccer at the park and then came back and watched High School Musical 2 on TV. All I could think about was how much Shania would of loved this day. Playing with her Grandparents and Sister, getting out my moms wooden fruits and giving them to everyone. Having fun chasing there dog Dukie around the house. Shania loved the movie High School Musical 1 so she would have been so excited about seeing number 2 over and over again. We also had dinner at Grampa, Grandma and Auntie Dan Dans(Dennis, Sandra and my sister Danielle) house on Sunday and had just as special of a time there also. These milestones are very sad and happy occasions at the same time. We are sad because we miss Shania so much and we are happy to have all of these fond memories of our Shania. It's a mix of emotions. As the days (82 to be exact) have turned into months since Shania passed away. It doesn't feel like the pain has diminished, it only seems like it is more bearable now. Shannon talks about Shania all the time still, as do Karen and I. It comforts us to know that we will never forget our Shania. I am playing Shania's favorite classical CD right now "Loves first glow". It's fitting that this would be the name of her favorite CD because Shania had such a love for life and for everyone. She was like the brightest shooting star that lit up our lives with this intense love and joy, it has left a glow in our heart's that can't be forgotten. She taught us how life is meant to be lived.

This is a letter we received from Michael O'Mahoney at Sick Kids Foundation about there humanitarian awards

Dear Mr and Mrs Johnston

I am so sorry that you recently lost your daughter, Shania. Please accept my sincere condolences. There is no one whose passing hurts as much as one's beloved child -especially when it happens far too soon. I wish that I had an opportunity to meet Shania, the amount of passion and determination she exhibited in her short life is truly inspiring. At SickKids, we are energized by the enthusiasm of our youth who proactively participate in fundraising, and we try to recognize their efforts by hosting an annual "Kids Believe in Sick Kids Awards. At this event, we honour the top fundraisers in three categories. As you well know, despite battling her own cancer, Shania worked very hard to raise money for SickKids and the James Fund. I am so pleased to inform you that Shania will be recognized as the 2007 Top Fundraising Individual. The 2007 Kids Believe in SickKids Awards will take place on November 20TH, And hope that you will both be able to join us to represent Shania and her incredible philanthropic spirit. Before the ceremony, we would like to arrange a convenient time when we could film you, your family, and perhaps one or two of your daughter's friends talking about Shania and her tremendous efforts to support SickKids. I regret that we were unable to recognize Shania as the recipient of this award before her passing, but I do hope that you will both be able to join us so that we can celebrate your little girl's wonderful spirit and hard work.

Sincerely,
Michael O'Mahney
President

Thank you for this lovely letter Michael it will be our honour to represent Shania at this ceremony. She would have been so proud of this award, not only for herself but also for all of her friends that helped and continue to help her with her dream to find a cure so that no other children have to suffer from this horrible disease.

I will always believe in Shania I will I will!!!
I will always believe in Shania I will I will!!!!!!!!
I will always believe in Shania I will I will!!!!!!!!!!!!!
with love that's true,
Shayne,Karen,Shannon and Whiskey

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Claire flying high down under with Shania on her mind and in her heart

A friend of mine John Flynn from my work said that his daughter Claire was doing a working visa for a year in Australia and she wanted one of Shania's shirts to wear out there. She sent these pictures from Cairns, Australia back not long before Shania passed away. They really hit home because Shania loved Peter Pan and I remembered Shania being asked if she had a wish for herself what would it be, she said that she would like to fly like Peter Pan. I think that this is the next best thing. This was the first time that Claire has gone sky diving and said that she thought about Shania and this gave her the strength to let go of the plane and make the jump. Good one on ya mate. Thank you for these beautiful pictures Claire. If anyone else would like to post pictures of them wearing Shania's shirts from somewhere in the world when they are on a trip or in any other fun way just send the pictures to shania.com@rogers.com we will gladly put them in the blog.

pictures continue below :)





Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Dogged determination!!!

These two words describe Shania to a tee. When she set her mind to do something she would do it whole heartily and wouldn't give up until she accomplished her goal. So with Shania as my trainer for the ride for Karen, it was with this mind set that we did this 160KM challenge. It did turn out to be a rainy morning. I hadn't ridden in the rain before and didn't know how the bike would handle with these slick narrow tires. We started out at nine in the morning with Kirk Tobias doing a speech were he mentioned that I was a hero for doing this ride. This was very kind of him to say this, but every single person riding/volunteering/sponsoring this event are hero's. They put everyone into three groups the 35/30 and 25 KM/HR teams. I was in the 25/KM/HR group at the back. They separated them out by five minutes each. I was ready to go, I had a picture of Shania and I on our bikes in a zip lock bag along with her favorite bravery bead and a couple of her bracelets in my shirt pocket. So with a big hug and kiss from Karen and Shannon we were off. It wasn't raining at first but after about a half hour it began and didn't stop for about three hours. let me tell you, you don't realize how many hills there are going up north on the back roads until you go on a bike. Along the way I over heard some one in our group mentioning how hard this was and the person that he was talking to said that this is nothing in comparison to what these children with cancer have to go through. This is so true, these kids have true grit, to go through what they have to endure and still be able smile and have fun at the end of the day is truly inspirational. We stopped for a break at 50K to refuel with delicious muffins and cookies that Paula Tobias and friends made. I filled up my bottles and was off on the road again. This route I'm sure must be very scenic but it was raining to hard to do see very far. The group started to spread out a bit because of the water spray off the bikes, we were hitting 55 clicks/HR going down some of the hills, which we needed to get a head start on the next hill going back up. The rain started to subside once we got up to the Holland marsh, at this point it flattened out completely, so it felt like a double bonus no rain and no hills ya hoo!!! this lasted for about 30KMS until we came out of the Holland marsh at this point we weren't to far from the lunch break which is at 120KMS but we still had a few long huge hills or what seemed like huge long hills before we got there. I was really hoping that this lunch break would recharge the batteries, because I was a hurting unit at this point. Once I got there I got a heart lifting surprise. Vernon Ward a friend that helped me get set up for this challenge and was in the 35KM/HR group, was waiting with a necklace made from the metal plate that was used to cut out a gold pendent for the necklace that Shania wore at her funeral. It looks similar to a dog tag they use in the army but with a sunflower cut out of it. Thank you to Roger Kanda a friend of Kirk Tobias who is a jeweler, he made this and the sunflower charms for all 500 bracelets. I grabbed something to eat and was talking to one of the Marshals for the ride, his name is Chris, he mentioned a riders tip. He said to fill up one of my bottles up with a can of Pepsi and water. This would give me a sugar and caffeine boost for the last 40 KMS and true to his word it did give me that bit of extra energy to make it back to the Start/Finish line. I had brought along some energy bars with me and had them in my shirt pocket at the back of my riding shirt, this is also were I had Shania's picture and charms. So every time I went for the energy bars I would feel Shania's picture. This gave me a reminder of Shania all along this ride, it was like she was with me encouraging me all the way. She is my inspiration to do this challenge, I would never even have imaged of doing something like this if it wasn't for Shania. It was an emotional finish. The people that I finished with asked if I would like to lead them in to the finish, which I was greatly honoured to do and would like to thank them for this kind gesture. This ride took me seven hours to finish. Karen,Shannon and some of our friends welcomed us back with lots of hugs. They had come earlier and set up a booth to sell Shania's shirts and jewelery, They raised $350.00 which they donated to The Ride for Karen. Kirk said that it should go to Shania's cause, but we told him that this is what Shania would have wanted. We raised over $1900.00 dollars to send kids with cancer to camp. The ride in total raised over $240,000.00 WOW!!!! What a feeling it was to be a part of this great cause. I look forward to doing this again next year! Once again I would like thank Shania for being my inspiration and trainer.

I will always believe in Shania I will I will!!!
I will always believe in Shania I will I will!!!!!!!
I will always believe in Shania I will I will!!!!!!!!!!!!
With love that is true.
Shayne,Karen,Shannon & Whiskey.

Shania and her little pink bike



Shania and I going for a bike ride in the summer of 2001 she was 3 years old. Shania loved to ride her bike. And I loved to go with her, we would race around Oak Lea circle and she always managed to beat me every time :)

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Fairy Princess Falls

Shan made it through the first week of school just fine. She was a little upset the night before the first day of school, so Karen and Shan put a picture of Shania in her back pack along with a couple of plush toys, one that principal Janet porter had given her and Shans cuddly cat. Shanias class last year was moved down the hall, so Shans class ended up with the grade threes coat rack and guess which hook Shan picked. Shans teacher Miss Folkes said that she would put her name beside Shania's. This touched Karen and I deeply when Shannon told us after school. It's like they are together still in a way, with Shania watching over her little sister still. I'm sure it's comforting to Shannon. Karen and I went down to the Royal Botanical Gardens yesterday we went to the rock gardens there. This was such a special place for Shania and Shannon, they loved going up and down through all of the paths, it is so beautiful with all it gardens of different colours and fragrances. They especially liked the water falls there, which starts at the top of the rock garden and meanders down to ponds below. We call these falls"Fairy Princess Falls" which have an almost magical feel about them. We feel that this would be a most fitting place to go if anyone would like to reflect and remember our Fairy Princess Shania. Karen and I sat at the top falls thinking about Shania and watched a butterfly land right beside us, a bumble bee collecting nectar in front of us on a flower, chipmunks and squirrels scurrying around our feet, the sound of water cascading down, birds all around, its beautiful just like our Shania. It feels like if you watch very closely you just might spot a fairy. But I think that this only happens if you "believe in fairies" If anyone would like to go to the RBG to reflect and remember Shania especially at Fairy Princess Falls the directions are at http://www.rbg.ca/pages/visit_directions.html and the website is http://www.rbg.ca/ ,The gardens are at their best right now and in the spring on mother's day when they have the Tulip Festival. A while back before Shania past away a fine lady named Harpa Valdimarsdottir from the beautiful country of Iceland e-mailed us to wish us the best and to say that she had been looking for a survivor of Stage Four Neuroblastoma after relapse and hadn't been successful. Her sisters three year old son Tjorvi has this terrible disease also and was at this same stage. Unfortunately shortly after Shania past away, so did little Tjorvi. Karen and I would like to send Harpa and her sister's family our deepest condolences, we are thinking about you. We have to find a cure or prevention to this disease so these children won't have to suffer like this anymore.
A big thank you goes to Siobhan 8 and Ylenia 3 Wilson for raising $135.00 by making beaded jewellery and selling it out front of their house. Siobhan has known Shania since daycare when they were two. Also thank you to Kerri Zamzow from Wisconsin for buying fifteen of Shania's necklaces and a shirt. Thank you to everyone that continues to support Shania's dream to find a cure. Tomorrow is the RideforKaren and I just found out that the forecast is calling for an eighty percent chance of rain. oh well we won't let a little rain stop us. The harder it is, the more special it will be to accomplish this challenge for a great cause. I think I will take a picture of Shania and a trinket of hers with me for the ride.

I will always believe in Shania I will I will!!!!
I will always believe in Shania I will I will!!!!!!!!
I will always believe in Shania I will I will!!!!!!!!!!!!!
With love that is true,
Shayne,Karen,Shannon&Whiskey

Fairy Princess Falls

Shania and Shannon at "Fairy Princess Falls " this is a special place in the "rock gardens" at the Royal Botanical Gardens, they loved it here. This picture was taken on mothers day 2006 just before Shania started getting sick from Neuroblastoma.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Beautiful Sunflowers everywhere

The sunflower that Shania loved so much, seems to be everywhere I go. I have been out and about on the bike called "True North" that I am borrowing for the "Ride for Karen". Every time I see a batch of sunflowers it gives me a boost in my legs to do this fundraiser challenge of 160KM. I rode out to my dads on Sunday and didn't even realize that the route that I was going went right passed the Cemetery/Funeral home on Elgin Mills where we had Shania's celebration of life. It was like Shania gave me a big push to make it out to my dad's. Shania and I decided to do this great fundraiser just before we found out that the cancer had spread to her lungs. She got out her home made clip board at the hospital and wrote me up a training schedule. She is still my trainer and motivator for this ride, she is in my heart and on my mind every time I go out for a ride. I have only been able to get out five times since we found out that Shania had the cancer in her lungs and past away two weeks later. But hopefully I can get out a bit more before the big day. If anyone is interested in sponsoring Shania and I for this incredible cause. Go to www.rideforkaren.com and look us up, or E-mail me at Shania.com@rogers.com all the money raised goes to sending cancer kids to camp. We also have been trying to get the five hundred bracelets all done for this ride. Thank you to everyone that is helping us make all of these bracelets, I know we wouldn't have been able to do it without you. Shania's second annual Sunflower of Hope Fun Fair will be on May 3RD 2008 this year coming up. Our good friend Anji Sharp said that she is looking forward to doing it again this year. We want to add another building to it this year. And hopefully we will be able to get the fair us wheel that Shania wanted for this year. School starts next week and this is going to be another big milestone that will be tough to do without Shania with us. Shannon isn't looking forward to it without her big sister with her. It's going to be hard on all of us. Shania loved school so much, she loved everything about Reesor Park School/Family/Community, her friends,teachers, the challenges of learning new things, everything.
I will always believe in Shania I will I will !!!!!!
I will always believe in Shania I will I will!!!!!!!!!!!
I will always believe in Shania I will I will!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
With love that is true,
Shayne,Karen,Shannon&Whiskey

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The best sister ever !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Shannon had her sixth birthday on Friday and what a fun day it was. Shannon woke up early and was floating on a cloud. She had an appointment to get her ears pierced with her best friend Megan. Shannon asked us a while ago if she could get her ears pierced like Shania. Shania had her ears done when she turned six also. I remember Shania asking to get hers pierced when she was five and we said that she could when she turned six, hoping that she would forget about it. She didn't forget and greatly anticipated that big day. Shannon had a Barbie cake, the one with the doll and the cake is the dress. A bunch of her friends came over to play birthday games and go swimming. A big thank you to Melissa Hawkins for donating her life guarding fee to Shania's Sunflower of Hope. We were so happy to see Shannon having so much fun with her friends on her special day. Yesterday was a different story. It really hit us hard that we missed Shania on Shannons special day. We all were thinking about how much fun she would of had setting up all the games,playing in the pool and helping shannons day be a beautiful one. Shannon was very upset and said that Shania was "the best sister ever" and that she missed her so much. We all missed her, we think about her all of the time.

We added in Shania's beautiful DVD tribute from the funeral onto the home page yesterday, thanks to Edward our website specialist. So if you want to view it go to Shania's home page, just click on the small boxed in picture of her. This was very heart breaking for us to watch. We hadn't watched it since Shania's funeral. At the part near the end of her tribute it shows Shania playing the xylophone, this peace Shania wrote by her self along with the song that she wrote and sings for her mother, it is very touching to see Shania do these two beautiful peaces. The back ground music through out this DVD is a song called " You lift me up" by Josh Grobin. Shania loved this song the first time she heard Micheal Burgess sing it at a NHL Old timers game. Karen got it burned onto a CD and Shania would always ask to listen to it every time we were in our van.

Shannon asked after we watched the DVD if she could watch a movie that Shania and her had made just before Shania relapsed. I video taped their movie which was about their barbies fighting against the evil Super Seema. It is very funny and we had a great laugh with misty eyes at the same time. Shania had such an incredible creative ability to do these kinds of things. It was the sad day after the happy one. Karen and I would like to thank Syd Birrell for stopping by last night, your timing was perfect, we needed someone to talk to, who can empathize with what we were feeling. Syd knows all to well what it's like to lose a child to this terrible disease. He lost his incredible son James who created the James Fund For Neuroblastoma research at Sick Children's Hospital. Thanks again Syd for being there for us.

The week before Shania died she picked out the colours for the five hundred bracelets that will be worn by the cyclists of the "Ride For Karen". This being a cycling challenge to raise money to send children with cancer to camp. All in honour of Karen Tobias who past away from breast cancer, she is the mother of Kirk and Chris who have set up this amazing challenge. I was able to match up the beads that she picked out and we have started to fill there huge order of bracelets. I would like to thank Vern Chant a friend of Kirk and Chris for lending me an excellent race bike called True North for this challenge of 160KM. Also thank you Kirk, Chris and family for letting Shania and us be a part of this great cause. Kirk is dedicating his ride in honour of our Shania, as you can guess I am also. She will be in my heart and on my mind all the way in this fundraising challenge.

I will always believe in Shania I will I will!!!!!!!!
I will always believe in Shania I will I will!!!!!!!!!!!!
I will always believe in Shania I will I will!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
With love that is true,
Shayne,Karen,Shannon&Whiskey.