Thought I would take a moment to update our blog. I know I've been neglecting to update things, but I never seem to find the time - or the right time, I guess, to write a few words.
I've been home for the summer with the kids and we've been having an incredible time. I didn't get the chance to do that last year; I was on the campaign trail most days. Essentially, I was out the door early, in late, and in bed even later. While it was an experience I won't soon forget, and I do feel like I still have a passion for public office, I think my election campaign got me away from a lot of things that are truly important in my life.
Going into the campaign, I was advised to step down from my position at The Isaac Foundation. Politics can be a nasty business, as any casual observer must know, and my team felt that it would be best to leave The Isaac Foundation in order to ensure that the organization was safe from attack from those around us. However, I didn't realize that stepping away meant keeping the accomplishments we made over the course of the last few years quiet, and I didn't realize that we couldn't celebrate and share the lessons we learned along our long journey with Isaac with my audiences. I didn't realize that by removing The Isaac Foundation from my life for the time being, I was taking away the real reason I wanted to run for public office in the first place - an intense desire to advocate and represent those in need, thereby making our community a better place for all.
Now, a year later, I regret that I didn't share my experiences advocating for my son with those around me. I regret that I didn't pass on the lessons I learned along the way, and I regret that I pushed aside a large part of who I am due to the mistaken belief that it was dangerous to do so.
Most of all, I regret that I lost site of the things that are important to me.
I regained some of my perspective on life last night when I learned that there is another person in Ontario that is suffering from the same disease that Isaac is battling. We have known about this young man for a while and knew that he was applying to the Ontario Government to have his treatment funded, much in the same way that it funds Isaac's treatment. I had expected the funding to come through for him and for his treatment to begin soon enough, but I learned last night that his application for funding was turned down by the government, a fact that clearly caught me off guard.
I am troubled by this decision by our government for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that our provincial and national health care systems are supposed to work for ALL Canadians. This young man needs treatment and I find it appalling that a treatment that is funded for Isaac would be denied for someone else. More importantly for our family, this latest piece of news leads me to believe that it isn't out of the realm of possibility that funding for Isaac might be taken away at some point as well - something that I can't and will not allow to happen.
In an instant, all that we have worked for and all the difficult moments we went through came crashing back to me and I was afraid again. Afraid for Isaac and his future, afraid that battles won long ago might come back and put us into fighting mode all over again, and afraid that we have grown too comfortable over the past while and that we forgot what we're truly facing.
Perspective is a sneak, and it comes at you when you least expect it. But I'm glad it found me last night and gave me the chance to take stock of what's important to me in my life. I'm glad it gave me pause to remember to enjoy everything we have now to the fullest, because we never know what lies ahead.
If and when I return to the political scene, I'm going to do it differently and ensure the lessons I've learned along the way can be shared with those around me. For now, though, I'm going to take all the good that this summer with my kids has to offer, and enjoy each and every moment.
I plan on contacting the family of the young man that was denied treatment this week and, if they need me, I will ensure I work hard to push their case forward with the government and ensure his treatment is funded. I'll keep things updated as I know more.
Anyway, should sign off for today. Below is how we spent our day today - Isaac and Gabriel put on a full John Mayer concert for me. Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!
Thanks for your continued support. I promise to write more, even if there's nobody out there reading!