One of the things about the #365ofgoodWR project that I have noticed, is not only how many great things happen in our community, but that sometimes people offering and sharing that goodness may not even fully understand the positive impact their actions have on those around them. I believe that may be the case for Shelley Secrett. I have only met Shelley a handful of times but was always impressed by her passion and enthusiasm for everything she's involved in. As an Early Childhood Educator myself, I was fortunate to attend several workshops led by Shelley, and her love for the kids in her care as well as her dedication to creating inclusive and caring spaces for them was clearly evident. So I was saddened to hear that she's facing some health challenges right now. Please take a moment to read a post from (some pretty great community builders themselves!) Sara and Alaina. As they mention in their post, if there's a way you can contribute, please consider doing so today. Thanks!
(Post from Sara and Alaina):
As you’ve now likely heard, our very dear friend Shelley Secrett is going through a rough time.
Months ago, after struggling with a sore hip, Shelley was shocked to find out that it had fractured, without apparent reason. Given that doesn’t just happen to someone in their forties, she underwent a battery of tests. Nine years ago, she had lymphoma in her neck; tests are indicating it's likely returned. Four tumours have been identified in her body - three in her pelvic area and one in her chest. Shelley is now off work indefinitely. This week she underwent hip bone biopsy surgery to help lay out her treatment path.
When people we love are faced with this kind of news, we wish we could wave a wand and change reality. Far too often, life is completely unfair. The truth is… all we can do at these times is hold space for the people we care about and do what we can to surround them with our love and support.
Shelley is an incredible person – the very definition of a PEOPLE person. She’s a community-builder, traveler, hiker, chef, eternal optimist, and event organizer; Secrett Events has donated thousands of dollars of event proceeds to a dozen local charities over the last 15 years. Shelley is infamous for creating safe, fun spaces for members of the LGBTQ community; so many folks have met their networks and chosen families because of her events.
Shelley is also a beloved Early Childhood Educator. Her love for the kids in her class, her colleagues, and her workplace shines through when she talks about her days. Parents are always thrilled when Shelley teaches their children, because they see in her what we all see – genuine goodness.
While we don’t yet know the full details of the battle ahead, we do know there will be one, and it will be significant. Her chemotherapy is set to start soon. The last thing Shelley needs to be worrying about right now is the financial impact illness will have on her life.
Nine years ago, Shelley was the Best Woman at our wedding. She stood with us at a pivotal moment, when we needed to be surrounded by love and support. Now we want to surround her. Help us.
If you’re financially able, consider making a gift in support of Shelley. These funds will go directly to her, to meet whatever needs she, Melissa, and her stepson Liam have. Gifts of all sizes are welcome - even a small donation will let her know you’re in her corner.
Shelley recently told us that she looks forward to the day she’s in her hiking gear again, discovering more beauty on the Bruce Trail. Let’s hold her as a community until that day.
In appreciation and solidarity,
Sara Casselman & Alaina Stewart