At some point in our lives all of us have been affected by cancer, and if you are like me, have uttered those very words. There are nonprofit organizations and blog posts based around that very raw emotion – f cancer. It’s because many times it strikes out of nowhere and throws you for a tailspin. That’s how I felt in 2014 when I learned the news that a dear friend, mentor and beacon for this entrepreneurial ecosystem Shelley Gunton was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
It was as if cancer picked a fight with the brightest light; and Shelley took on the fight with the same vigor and passion that surprised none of us who knew her well.
Early this morning, Shelley lost that fight.
And thus, we all lost one of our bright lights. It’s a light that cannot be replaced or replicated. But it’s one that can carry on through all of us.
In the time we give without expecting anything in return.
In our ability to always see opportunities as opposed to challenges.
In the way we focus on hope instead of doubt.
In the generosity we show each other.
In the passion we show for the people and things we love.
In developing relationships instead of acquaintances.
In the way we always greet each other with a smile as opposed to a frown.
In living life to it’s fullest without dwelling on the past.
The time I spent with Shelley through OEN and multiple other groups, and more importantly, the time spent with her since the original diagnosis left an indelible mark on me. I watched her live this passionate, successful, and most importantly, altruistic life.
So we will mourn the loss of our dear friend, and then look to carry on a bit of her light as best we can…because knowing Shelley as we did, she’d be telling us ‘Ok, let’s go make something happen!’
So let’s indeed make something happen.
Visit this page to donate to OHSU’s Knight Cancer Institute in Shelley’s name.