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Kindred Spirits Reunite For One Last Visit

Best friends Shannon, left, and Nicky were able to spend time together thanks to Give A Mile.

For 26 years, best friends Nicky and Shannon were like sisters. Since meeting in college in 1990, the pair marked life’s major happenings together: education, marriage, children. During those monumental, life-changing moments when you need your bestie by your side to bear witness, Nicky and Shannon were there for each other.

Time went on and the two ended up on opposite coasts of Canada. Shannon was living with the nasty, non-discriminating illness that affects so many. The c word. And, for a second time. Ultimately, the cancer became incurable, and her end of life approached.

At times like these, the shell-cracking, heartbreaking moments, we require the cloak of warmth, love, comfort and support from the best people in our lives. Nicky yearned to reunite with her best friend, wanting to walk part of the road with Shannon, along with Shannon’s husband and two young daughters. But the distance seemed insurmountable.

Nicky was able to spend time with Shannon and her family.

Through the efforts of Stacey Lazarenko, a dedicated volunteer at Give A Mile, Nicky’s yearning became reality. Stacey became a Flight Hero, and personally donated to the flights for Nicky to journey from Vancouver to Halifax in July.

Kindred spirits Nicky and Shannon reconnected in person, spending precious, invaluable time together reminiscing and creating special, beautiful memories. Being in Nova Scotia allowed Nicky to take care of the practical, day-to-day household chores and errands for the family, lightening their heavy load. That time with Shannon and her family provided one of the most intimate experiences Nicky could have — journeying with a loved one who is dying — and the treasured gift of saying goodbye.

Shannon died at home on Sept. 25 in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

Nicky has begun her personal journey through grief at home in Vancouver. She is deeply grateful for the gift of a final visit with her best friend and extends her thanks to the donors who make Give A Mile possible.