Fighting Cancer: Rev. Candace Frank
Tuesday evening, I went to see Rev. Candace Frank in the hospital. She's the wonderful minister for the
Centre for Spiritual Living. I love attending Sunday morning services and always get great hugs from her .
Last year, Candace paddled on the Centre for Spiritual Living/Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team.
She had never ever paddled dragonboats before, but knew that I had created a "church dragon boat team"
before for the Celebration of Life Centre from 1997 to 2000. It was a great experience, many members from
CSL came to paddle including Candace's husband Chip Frank, CSL president Ernie Letawsky and also
his wife Judy Letawsky who was our special "ringer" - having paddled on the original Abreast in a Boat
dragon boat teams. I did my best to listen to Rev. Candace's services and to integrate each Sunday's
messages into the dragon boat training program - since it is all about personal and performance enhancement
- whether the performance is personal, spiritual or physically paddling a dragon boat.
It has been wonderful developing friendships with Rev. Candace and her husband Chip. She came to give the
Selkirk Grace at my Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner in January - with her American accent!. And in March, she
wrote me a letter of support for a major award (I didn't get it), and she gave a grace for the inaugural GHFC
St. Paddy's Day volunteer appreciation dinner.
Candace Frank is a person who fills a room with light, vivacious and loving.. She lives in the moment, and fills
each moment with tremendous sense of spirit, inspiring all who come to know her. I have been blessed to have
her and her husband Chip in my life. I know that we are both mutually in awe of each other, and the spiritual
strength that resides in each of us.
This evening we did a prayer circle for Rev. Candace. It's a blessing to see so many people in our congregation
and to meet so many of her friends from her spiritual community across the USA - who are coming to see her.
It takes a great person to inspire so many people, and build community into a large growing congregation.
As I met others gathered at the hospital many people commented on the brand new Terry Fox Run t-shirt I
was wearing. I explained that as a Terry's Team member cancer survivor, I had spoken that morning at an
elementary school - giving words about overcoming adversity. It was amazing that Ministers Rev. Jacob and
Rev. Charles from Seattle and Los Angeles knew about Terry Fox, and were very excited recalling seeing a
movie about Terry.
Every year I stand up at Terry Fox Run sites, and thank the participants for supporting the Terry Fox Run.
I tell them that without the advances in cancer research made possible since Terry's 1980 Marathon of Hope,
I probably wouldn't be here today, having only been given a 50% chance of survival back in 1989. Cancer
touches the lives of so many of us. We don't know why, and we often question why those close to us have to
face this challenge. It is very symbolic to start the day speaking about overcoming adversity in the face of
cancer and Terry Fox at an elementary school, then to finish the day visiting a special friend in the hospital
who has been living with cancer for a long time. Someone from whom, I have drawn my spiritual inspiration
from when I have felt down and out of sorts... someone who's life is sharply threatened by cancer.
This year, I run and speak for my friend, Candace Frank.
Below are two pictues from the 2005 Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner
Rev. Candace Frank reading the Selkirk Grace, to help bless the food for the 2005 Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner.
In the background are co-hosts, Tom Chin, Shelagh Rogers & Todd Wong - photo Ray Shum
Rev Candace Frank being "interviewed" by CBC Radio's Shelagh Rogers, just prior to reading
a verse from the Robert Burns Poem "Address to a Haggis" - photo Ray Shum