Jack Layton - A lesson in hope and courage in cancer and life

Today Canadians lost a very brave and pas­sion­ate man, NDP lead­er Jack Layton, to can­cer. Many of us were not really even aware of truly how sick Jack actu­ally was until a month ago; pic­tures were pos­ted and revealed the true nature of his con­di­tion, which was very grave indeed. Today we know that can­cer won this battle.

I will admit that in the polit­ic­al sphere for many years I found Jack’s approach very ideal­ist­ic. At times I wondered how genu­ine Jack actu­ally was in his hopes for our coun­try, for the care of our seni­or cit­izens, for what he saw Canada could be through his eyes.

With time, I real­ized that in fact Jack is and was the epi­tome of hope and belief in the bet­ter­ment of not only Canada as a whole, but in each indi­vidu­al Canadian. He hoped that his love for our coun­try would inspire us to want bet­ter and to be bet­ter. So much so, of course, that his own health was a mere blip in his exist­ence in his goal to see the Canada in which he believed so much. I admire his persistence.

Cancer is a very exhaust­ing and hope-sap­ping dis­ease. It has taken the lives of many friends and fam­ily, and it will con­tin­ue to do so. However, tire­less efforts in research and fun­drais­ing for research are chan­ging that all the time. Jack Layton defied the dis­ease in that he refused to give up, men­tally and phys­ic­ally, and gave all he had. Many of you are fight­ing in this man­ner with not only can­cer but your own phys­ic­al con­di­tions that plague and tire you, but you do not give up.

In Jack’s final words, “please don’t be dis­cour­aged that my own jour­ney hasn’t gone as well as I had hoped. You must not lose your own hope”. Let us all hope that Jack can inspire us all in whatever life brings to us indi­vidu­ally and as a coun­try that we do not lose hope, and con­tin­ue to fight for what we believe in as passionately.

Let us keep Jack and his fam­ily and friends in our thoughts today, and light a candle in his honour.

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