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Twelve year old me and twelve year old Linnea became very good friends very quickly.
What on earth we did for hours on end after school, weekends, and summer holidays, is hard to say. Linnea would insist that I come over after school, and yes her Mom said it was ok. She didn't. But Laura would politely try to hide her look of exasperation every time she came home from work to find me there. Probably playing Mario Cart and eating frozen blueberries, that was our jam.
Whether it was our friendship that fostered common interests, or the other way around, they kept us close as we grew older. We could no longer hang out every day, but ski trips and a growing appreciation of good coffee and good food gave us new opportunities to reconnect and reminisce.
When I moved back to the Edmonton area after nearly ten years I looked forward to reconnecting again. I thought we’d get to ski and hike and camp and cook together. I looked forward to getting to know this guy Todd who was making her so happy, seeing their house, meeting their dog.
My first thought when I heard about Linnea’s battle with cancer, was that there had to be some mistake. Linnea’s mom had lost her battle with cancer, this couldn't be happening again. I never really believed that she wouldn’t beat it, even the last time we saw each other. Linnea was so brave, so beautiful, so totally “Linnea”, I really couldn’t imagine that she wouldn’t be the exception, the one who beat the odds.
Linnea lost her battle in September. This year I’ll ride in her honour, with her friends and family, knowing that the money we raise will fund research into triple negative breast cancer. We ride in hope that others won’t have to face the dreadful battle that Linnea and her family did.
Thank you in advance for your help, your encouragement, and keeping Linnea’s legacy alive.
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