After high school, I moved to Calgary, AB to pursue a business degree from Mount Royal University. I loved living in the city of a million people and taking advantage of all the amenities we simply didn't have in our smaller community. Just after I finished second semester, in May of 2009, I got a horrible phone call. I made the five hour drive home as fast as I could and within a day or two, we learned our father had been diagnosed with stage four renal cell carcinoma - a type of kidney cancer. It was a total shock to us and came completely out of the blue. Within days, they operated and removed his left kidney. He soon started a targeted therapy treatment and thankfully, for the most part, was still able to do many of the things he did before his diagnosis.
Dad fought with that stupid cancer for more than four years. We all did, in a way.
I completed my degree in 2012 and moved back to Swift Current to marry my high school sweetheart soon after. I'm so thankful I spent that following year close to home because in September of 2013, Dad passed away in the middle of harvest season - one of his favorite times of year. Now more than ever, I see how my father was a huge encouragement to me, always taking time to offer advice and pushing me to do my best as he watched me dreaming of owning my own interior design business someday.
Like many farmers, and farmer's daughters, I am grateful for where I grew up and how I was raised. The farming lifestyle that my parents chose to lead played a large part in how I view life and who I am today - I guess you could say, like many others in our area, I'm still a farmer at heart and will always be proud to be a farmer's daughter.