“You have a terminal illness.”
I was 18 years old when I heard those words for the first time. I couldn’t concentrate on what the doctors said next. My world went numb. Their next words sounded muffled. I was in shock.
My world was spinning and refused to stop. How was this happening to me? Why? I felt I was forced onto an emotional rollercoaster against my will. Every abrupt drop and twist another emotion as I started to process my new reality. A pit of fear in my stomach. Anger, panic, confusion. All I wanted was the ride to end. To make sense of it all.
I cannot tell you the time or day I finally understood: I have a rare blood disorder called PNH and my life would be significantly shortened.
I can tell you, I would not have made it this far alone. As my world was spun, during my darkest moments, my family and friends became the strength I could not find and the hope I did not have. People I didn’t even know sent gifts and words of encouragement. Even when I did not want to listen I could hear their message.
Don’t give up. Keep fighting.
I believe I am alive today because of my community. Those many voices of encouragement, love, support and hope. They became my motivation. I recognize how fortunate I am to have this community rally around me. Yet, I am reminded, others do not.
The power of community, a safe place to build each other up and provide strength to those who need it most inspired my sister, Kristy-Lee Banerjee, and I to form Beacon of Hope Canada. An organization designed to inspire hope and support to those experiencing their own difficult journey.
When you purchase a special gift of hope for your loved one, 20% of your purchase will be donated to your charity of choice. Your gift is an inspired reminder that your loved one is not alone. To keep hope during difficult times. The gifts that we have specifically created are a symbol of love, hope and encouragement to continue. Wear one in solidarity to show those closest, that you are walking through the storm with them. You can be their hope in the darkest of times.
My name is Lucas Maciesza. I would not be here without hope. Without the strength of my community. My support network. I hope our program can help you be a Beacon of Hope for your loved ones.
Our friends and family have experienced a lot of different and difficult health challenges.
Even with our own trauma we found it was hard to explain to our loved ones how they could help. Most of the time just getting through the realization of the trauma we faced was overwhelming.
We also know the challenges of physically being available at all times for someone.
We want to remind those facing a difficult health struggle that we are walking through this with them. That’s why we have chosen to offer “Gifts of Hope” with the added comfort that a portion of the proceeds goes to a charity of your choice.