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4 ways to nourish your mind, body and spirit.
As we're in the midst of summer, it's important to take a moment to enjoy the outdoors. Shake things up by enjoying the tastes of a new recipe on your porch or balcony, reading a new book at your local park, or exploring the trails near your community.
Double Chocolate Espresso Smoothie
This smoothie tastes as good as it looks. It's also super energizing from both the espresso and the raw cacao powder.
12 of the Best and Easy Hiking Trails in the GTA
There's no shortage of green and easy trails to escape the hustle-and-bustle of Toronto.
25 Beach Reads for Your Summer Reading List
Your mission: Tear through all of these beach reads by Labor Day.
Cauliflower & Shrimp Fajita Bowls
The perfect, summertime dish that you'll be craving all-year-round
Meet Ashleigh and Kerryn Dungan
From left to right: Ashleigh, Craig and Kerryn Dungan
Ashleigh and Kerryn have been members of our community since our humble beginnings as ‘Yoga to Conquer’
and have one of the biggest teams on record with an impressive 20+ participants. With the launch of WellFest that number was about to double, as friends and family were all set to celebrate the life of their late father, Craig, “it was going to be our biggest year yet” said Ashleigh.
In 2011, shortly after a routine eye exam, Craig was diagnosed with ocular melanoma and after a few rounds of radiation had to have his right eye removed and replaced with a prosthetic. Though the risk of metastasis terrified his family, Craig was adamant that it wasn’t his time – he never thought twice about having the eye removed and continued to do routine MRI’s while maintaining an optimistic viewpoint. In fact, by 2014, he had convinced himself and his family that it was gone. In 2015, thinking things were stable, Ashleigh set off on an adventure overseas, but while she was away there was a shift. And the cancer that started behind the eye had moved into his spine, his kidneys and the liver.
The Princess Margaret team did everything they could to help him fight back with many advanced treatments and trials including, TILS (Tumour infiltrating Lymphocyte Therapy) which in its simplest explanation, extracts healthy cells from superficial metastases and sends them back into the body to create an army of support – sadly, the cancer was just as tough as Craig was, and he lost his battle with cancer in November of 2019. “We were so lucky that he wasn’t in pain 90% of the time, he was always so strong and so positive” said Kerryn. “Even when he came out of brain surgery, he said it just felt like a terrible headache”.
Craig always wanted everyone to receive the same level of care he was receiving and his daughters will do whatever they can to carry that spirit forward “maybe we can help give hope to others or help raise funds that could ultimately give people more time with those they love most” Ashleigh said. “Dad knew yoga supported us through his journey and we likely wouldn’t have gotten the extra years we had with him without the funds raised every year by these events”.
The Dungan family battled cancer for close to nine years, they watched residents turn into doctors while building strong bonds with the teams at Princess Margaret. They’d like to thank the entire staff–especially the oncology team–for being honest from day one, though it was hard to understand at times, they say “transparency builds trust”.
They’d also like to thank Craig’s clinical nurse for her ongoing sense of humour and making him laugh on even the darkest days. Their advice? “If it’s caught earlier, it can be treated earlier, please be an advocate for your own health and get things checked out regularly”. Ashleigh and Kerryn both look forward to celebrating their dad’s life and legacy together at Wellfest next summer and hope you’ll be out there moving too.
If you’re reading this right now and you’re not paying attention to the COVID-19 regulations Ashleigh and Kerryn both kindly ask you to reconsider. “Our hearts go out to the people that are in the same situation as we were in last year. We are both so grateful that we were able to say goodbye”. Their family is looking forward to a time when travel regulations let up so they can lay their Dad to rest and visit the rest of the family in South Africa.