Long-time supporters Chantelle Christensen and Erin Weeks have once again stepped up to champion our cause as Walk Her Way 5K Fitness Champions. Since March, Chantelle and Erin have been helping to promote the event and lead support locally in Edmonton and Grande Prairie, respectively.
What makes their commitment extra special is that both of their moms stayed at Sorrentino’s Compassion House while receiving cancer treatment, and they all continue to support us to this day. We love the love these mother-daughter duos share, and we hope you will too. Happy Mother’s Day!
Chantelle Christensen and Angela Somers
When Angela Somers went for routine bloodwork more than ten years ago, her life took a drastic turn. Following more bloodwork and multiple tests, she was eventually diagnosed in January 2010 with multiple myeloma―a type of cancer that forms in plasma cells.
Somers lived in Fort McMurray at the time, which would require her to travel five hours to Edmonton for treatment and eventually a stem cell transplant.
She turned to Compassion House Foundation for help, staying at Sorrentino’s Compassion House.
“Having a place to stay at the House was a real blessing to me,” said Somers. “The support of the other guests on their own journeys gave me strength, which helped me settle into a recovery and heal.”
Her daughter Chantelle Christensen is “forever grateful for the safe space” the House provided her mom, too.
“Watching my mom go through cancer treatment was very difficult for me; there were days I wasn’t sure if she would make it, and that created a lot of fear,” said Christensen. “The Foundation graciously offers a haven for women, and the support and connection it cultivates is truly staggering.”
Eleven years later, Somers continues to do well through monthly treatments to control her incurable disease. She hikes, eats well and remains positive, taking life one day at a time to appreciate all that is good―like being a mom.
“Being a mom is a great honour and privilege to me,” said Somers, who now lives in Sherwood Park. “The love is next to none.”
“She is the strongest woman I know,” added Christensen about her “number one supporter.” “She is a positive thinker who has taught me to believe in myself and never give up.”
Erin Weeks and Khris Weeks
With little family history and no obvious signs, Khris Weeks never expected a mammogram and ultrasound would confirm she had breast cancer in January 2018.
She needed radiation following a lumpectomy and chemotherapy, but radiation treatment isn’t available locally in Grande Prairie. The closest option was in Edmonton, and treatment would be approximately four weeks. So, she turned to Compassion House Foundation and its Sorrentino’s Compassion House for help.
“It seemed like a perfect solution for accommodation, however it was much more than that,” said Khris. “The staff and guests made me feel so welcome, and everyone was willing to share their stories. It made the cancer treatments a little bit easier to know that all of our needs were being met, and that there was always someone to listen if we needed a friend.”
Her husband and both of her daughters were even able to visit and stay at the House with her at different periods throughout her treatment.
“My mom is a fighter; she was so strong, and definitely kept an open mind and positive mindset,” said daughter, Erin Weeks. “I was astonished by the comforts of [the House], too.”
Today, Khris is happily retired, with a family and four grandchildren who mean the world to her. She is intent on enjoying each day of her life, knowing now how fragile it can be.
“I worry that my daughters might also have to deal with this one day, but I know they are strong, and places like Compassion House [Foundation] make the cancer journey easier,” she said.
“My mom is everything to me,” added Erin about their special bond. “She’s the best friend I could ever have and the best grandma to my kids. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have her.”
Walk Her Way 5K is a virtual run/walk fundraiser from May 13-16 to raise $50,000 for Compassion House Foundation. To join Angela, Chantelle, Khris, Erin and hundreds of other Albertans at Walk Her Way 5K in support of Compassion House Foundation, visit compassionhouse.org/walkherway5k.