Taking a Break from Cancer... Suzi Beber spent the first part of her adult life teaching and making sure that she really savored life's "awfully big adventure" by living it to the fullest, which included an incredible summer on Baffin Island in the Eastern Arctic with Tommy, her partner of 30 years. But everything changed... when a routine surgery took a detour.
Each of us has been touched by cancer. Suzi's "healing helper", her Golden Retriever "Blues", was stolen by cancer at only 6 years old. Suzi made a pact that she would turn her love and loss into a new passion and mission, thus founding in the Spring of 2001, The Smiling Blue SkiesŪ Cancer Fund, which is a part of the University of Guelph's Pet Trust.
Suzi and Tommy moved to Vancouver Island in 2003, where the moderate climate is kinder to Suzi's ongoing health issues. They now share their world of gardens with three Golden Retrievers - generations of offspring from Blue.
Suzi's "Cancer Breaks" artistic works are one of a kind, and are only the size of a hockey trading card. Each represents a precious person or pet whose life has been touched by cancer. "Cancer Breaks" are miniature worlds done in pen and ink and are sacred spaces where hope is the medicine and love is the cure for cancer. Suzi's intricate work has been described as being reminiscent of a stained glass window or delicate needlepoint. Her "Hey, Veronica!" women honour those fighting breast cancer. Proceeds from the sale of all Suzi's artwork fund cancer treatment and research.
It is said that the people in one's life are like the pillars on one's porch you see life through. Sometimes they hold you up, sometimes they lean on you, and sometimes it is just enough to know they're standing by. Langston Hughes wrote that "a life without dreams is a broken winged bird." Suzi says, "I am a very, very lucky person. My dreams are overflowing and there are so many wonderful people and golden spirits to help me fly. Smiling Blue SkiesŪ has raised over $1million for comparative cancer research, and offers 24/7 support to those whose lives have been touched by cancer."
To learn about Suzi and the Smiling Blue SkiesŪ Cancer Fund and Resource Centre, visit www.smilingblueskies.com. Together, we can reach beyond the bluest skies and brightest stars, to take a bite out of cancer, on behalf of the precious people and pets in our lives.