Today could have been a much different day. Connie Johnson’s breast cancer prognosis meant she might not have been there to welcome her brother Samuel home as he unicycled into Federation Square.
But she was there and they greeted each other with a hug that the thousands in Federation Square didn’t want to end.
Samuel, one of the faces of Love Your Sister, has just completed a unicycle ride around Australia, in the name of breast cancer awareness and raising money for research. He’s covered more than 15000 km and raised over 1.4 million Australian dollars for The Garvan Research Institute.
He got people talking about being breast aware. And he kept his promise he made to his sister years ago over a few drinks, and she’s continued to fight breast cancer. I believe it was this journey, this amazing cause, that has helped her live.
But Love Your Sister has strengthened both of them. Samuel believes Connie has saved him. On the stage at Federation Square, he said to Connie “You’ve given me a life I cherish now. I’m going to cherish every day we have left together.”
There wasn’t a dry eye in Federation Square.
The Garvan Institute has set up a fellowship in Connie’s name – a beautiful legacy she will leave.
While the unicycle ride is over, Sam’s not giving up. “I’m pissed off” he says, saying he started off being pissed off at the way cancer was robbing his sister’s life, but now he’s angry on behalf of all the women affected by breast cancer that he’s met this last year on the road. “It’s tearing families apart”, he said. “My job starts on Monday.” He wants to continue advocating until his last breath.
Congratulations to everyone involved on the enormous effort.
It’s been wonderful to be a part of Love Your Sister promotions since the (public) beginning. I’m so glad Samuel took a chance on me to tell his story through this blog. And I’m so glad I was able to meet Connie one year later at the finishing line. I’ve seen incredible kindness, strength and determination. These two are true heroes, role models.
As a blogger, it’s always great to donate my time and content space to a cause. Bloggers, if there’s a charity that resonates with you, don’t be afraid to reach out to them and see how you can spread their message.