All photos courtesy Graham Warner
Long before we built Fleur de Lys Villa, we lived in a cozy little beach side rental in Thompson’s Cove. The rustic property consisted of a two story duplex and a much larger main house with traditional Caribbean wrap around porches. We inhabited the upstairs studio when new tenants moved into the main house. Graham and Dionne Warner were a friendly couple from Saskatchewan who quickly invited us over for dinner. Over that meal we got to know our new neighbors and had lots of laughs thanks to their fantastic humor. We listened intently as Graham shared their love story and talked about how useful knowing the 5 love languages is in any relationship. When we heard Dionne’s story, a touching account of surviving breast, brain, and liver cancers, clearly it was a miracle to be sitting next to this woman. Dionne is a shining example of when life throws you lemons, you make lemonade. Through her every adversity she puts on a smile. Late last year we received the disheartening news that Dionne had yet another battle with cancer to win, not only did she put that beautiful smile back on, she once again put glowing smiles on everyone around her.
Dionne bringing the warmth of Turks and Caicos to her hospital
Hospitals are not well known for being “fun” places to go. In fact, most people dread walking through hospital doors even when entering as a visitor versus a patient. Dionne and Graham decided they were going to make it fun and cheerful to go for chemotherapy and testing, and make it a good time for everyone else too; doctors, nurses, friends, family, other patients, innocent bystanders:) Graham has been sharing e-mails since late last year, documenting their creative and catchy themes and Dionne’s progress.
Dionne in her “Ho, ho, ho” suit last December and with her father bringing their Jamaican heritage to the theme party
I personally loved the Mexico theme in honor of their personal chef Mariana
One June 11th Dionne walked in the Canadian Cancer‘s Relay for Life, where hundreds of supporters showed up to support other survivors, current fighters, and those that were honored in memory.
Dionne and Graham were able to make a trip to Provo for Easter so Dionne could fulfill her wishes to have sand beneath her toes and sunshine on her face. Pictured here with fellow island buddies, I mean bunnies!
Dionne has been a huge inspiration to me and probably anyone who meets her. She tirelessly crusades for cancer causes, only resting when her treatments literally knock her out like in the above photo. Please join Dionne’s “angel network” and help her fight this nasty opponent called cancer. This week is paint it pink canada week, calling on everyone to think pink today and enter Avon’s make, create, or do something in pink contest.
I rallied my art students at the ECG Youth Center to create a special statement in pink to honor Dionne and her words to live and fight cancer by; DETERMINATION, LOVE, COURAGE, FAITH, HAPPINESS, HOPE, and STRENGTH. Keep fighting the good fight Dionne!