A message from Leanne’s family and friends

A message from Leanne’s family and friends to all the wonderful people who were her cheering section through her blog…

It’s with great sadness that we write to let you all know that Leanne died last night at Mount Sinai hospital in Toronto. Many of you have already heard this news and expressed your condolences in the comments following Leanne’s last post. We thank you all so deeply for sharing them.

Leanne had been experiencing more and more difficulty with her breathing as a result of the cancer that relentlessly took over her lungs. She was taken into the hospital on Sunday where they tried to make her more comfortable. The suddenness with which she declined on Monday and especially Tuesday was shocking to all of us.

Towards the end, Georgia came in to see her mama and gave her a kiss and told her she loved her. Georgia hadn’t been gone from the room for more than a few seconds when our dear Leanne simply, quietly, stopped breathing.  She was surrounded by family and friends. She was at peace. The pain she had borne so bravely was finally over.

A common thread in many of your comments is the sense that, whether or not you knew Leanne in person, you always felt as though you did.

That’s not a coincidence. This blog was a flawless reflection of the things that defined her as a person: intelligence, generosity, compassion, diligence, intelligence (yes, we know we said it twice), and above all, a bold, crackling, mischievous sense of humour, one which could be either heart-warming or scathing – and often, remarkably, both heart-warming and scathing. And at times she had a unique capability to make you cry and laugh in the same paragraph – now that’s a writer.

Leanne wrote just as she lived: No holds barred. No stone unturned. No barrier unchallenged. No opportunity missed. No humour passed by.

So in that sense, all you readers who never met Leanne really did know her.

The discipline and courage required to write this blog gave Leanne so much strength. But knowing that all of you were out there reading it gave her even more, and your constant support, unfailing encouragement, and brilliant advice was a daily inspiration and a source of real joy for her. And for all of us as well.

Leanne’s fight was long, it was hard, and it was brave. Now she’s passed the torch. There is nothing she would want more than for the love and support that you gave to our dear Leanne now to be extended to the many, many others for whom the battle still goes on.

One more thing: in Leanne’s honour, we invite all of you to perform a daily exercise: choose the most over-the-top foul language in your vocabulary and mentally send it, with as much disdain as you can summon, in the general direction of cancer. She’d really, really like that.

More importantly, as impossible as it may sometimes seem, keep smiling. It was the very last thing Leanne did on this earth, and she would be, frankly, a little pissed off at all of us if we couldn’t muster the strength to do it too. Right. Freaking. Now.

Strength and love, friends. Strength and love. And, again, our deepest, heartfelt thanks to you her readers for your wonderful, unfailing support for our Leanne.

Please continue to visit this blog for comments and farewells to Leanne. And please go to www.canceriscrap.com for details on arrangements for a memorial service for Leanne.


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One response to “A message from Leanne’s family and friends

  1. 1.
    91 Responses to “ A message from Leanne’s family and friends ”

    smiling, laughing, and weeping… what a marvel… what a loss… leanne coppen was magic… absolute magic
    megan and abi

    By megan on Apr 28, 2010

    I went to ESA with Leanne and have not seen her in almost 21 years but she is someone who never left my mind. Even though I was not apart of her friendship circles, she was always willing to chat and always had a smile when she said “hello”. One thing that will always make me smile when I think of here was the voices that she made from the Ewok cartoons in the 80’s. Strange to remember that but as I have tears in my eyes for her and her family, it makes me smile and I remember her and her beautiful smile.

    By Suzanne on Apr 29, 2010

    I have been remembering the Leanne I knew, the 16-year old hippie love chick with whom I got my first tattoo and the elegant love mother I re-connected with last fall. God, she made me laugh. I love you, Leanne. It’s like you’re still here, your Spirit is that strong. You really are. All my love to all the Coppen family. Thank you for giving us your wonderful girl/woman.

    By Celia McBride on Apr 29, 2010

    Leanne was so hopeful about her future. It is such a shock that she died. I wondered why she wasn’t updating her blog. This is just so sad.

    By Anne-Marie on Apr 29, 2010

    I was very saddened to hear of Leanne’s passing. I have very fond memories of times together while I at Western in the early 90’s. She was a free spirit who always brought excitement and sophistication to any situation. I moved away shortly after graduation and had not been in touch with Leanne, but I have followed the blog recently. Leanne’s words will some day give inspiration to Georgia. As a long-time supporter of Relay for Life, I will sadly add Leanne to my ever-growing list of people to honor and remember through my fund-raising efforts to help find a cure. My thoughts and prayers are with Leanne’s family and friends.

    By Laura Cuddie on Apr 29, 2010

    I posted my more thoughtful comments on the Feathers and Capes post, and Leanne’s family remains in my prayers. But I will go about my business today uttering the mantra: “Cancer is a mother fucking bitch whore,” in Leanne’s honour.

    By Lisa B on Apr 29, 2010

    ♥ Take a moment to commemorate the life of a great woman. As wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend – Leanne was an instrumental voice in making our lives better. Known for her determination and grace — as well as her ‘straight from the hip’ wry humor, Leanne was truly an inspiration to us all. We are all poorer for her loss but infinitely richer for the life she led, the progress she achieved and the people she touched. God bless you Leanne. You will be sorely missed. xxoo

    By Andrew Giles on Apr 29, 2010

    Leanne and I were best friends in public school and went to high school together at ESA. I have been reading the blog and praying for a recovery for her since I found out about the cancer. I have so many many fond memories of our friendship and will cherish them forever.I can’t possible imagine the sadness you all feel at her loss, it is just heartbreaking. Sending my love to her family and her friends,

    By Kassi Ellis (nee Willis) on Apr 29, 2010

    I will miss you Leanne and my heart is hurting for your family. I hope, no, I KNOW Georgia will grow up to be a fearless, funny and loving young woman like you did because of all the people surrounding her right now. I believe in angels and I know you are definitely one now. Say hi to my mom and my baby, Sam.

    By Jane on Apr 29, 2010

    Leanne, I didn’t even know you, and yet I am so saddened by your passing. But I read your blog and was touched and inspired by your life, as were so many others. You were an amazing person. My heart is so heavy for your family’s loss; my thoughts and sympathies are with you.

    By Michelle Bodner on Apr 29, 2010

    I cried today for a woman I never met. I was so sad to hear that Leanne lost her fight. She put her heart and soul into her writing and in doing so impacted complete strangers who in way felt like they were hearing from a dear friend. My deepest sympathies for your loss of such an amazing and strong wife, mother, daughter and friend.

    By Marie on Apr 29, 2010

    I never met Leanne, but I felt I knew her. Her words have helped and will continue to help others be strong, positive and determined to beat cancer. My heart goes out to her family.

    By Ashley on Apr 29, 2010

    I had the pleasure of working with Leanne briefly, what a wonderful person who will be missed by all who met her. my deepest condolences to her family.

    By Stephen Stanish on Apr 29, 2010

    Oh Leanne, you were one of the most beautiful people (both inside and out) I have ever had the privilege to knowing. Thinking of you now is making me smile, which is in turn making me cry…tears of happiness of having known you, and tears of sadness for having lost you. You were and are a beautiful spirit who will stay with me in my heart and in my memories. My deepest sympathies and condolences to Leanne’s family for their terrible loss. With love, Kira

    By Kira on Apr 29, 2010

    What a beautiful entry. Thank you for those words. She was a brilliant writer and made a difference. She made a difference. Powerful, she was.

    By Jen on Apr 29, 2010

    I’m sure that Leanne and I would have gotten along well if we had ever met. Here sense of humour and attitude towards life are very familiar to me. I started to really worry when she hadn’t posted in several days…and today I had tears in my eyes reading this post. Godspeed my friend…

    By Kelly on Apr 29, 2010

    I try to smile Leanne.. i really do.. but i can’t. So i can hear you yelling “get over it Nip” and telling me how i have so much to be happy about with a beautiful family and a great group of friends. But i’m not smiling yet Leanne and there isn’t anything you can do about it. I think about our dinners and you cutting holes in my inane theories on relationships, people and life. I begin to smile and then the tears start coming because i know there will be no more of those dinners. I wanted to tell you at our last meeting how much you meant to me but you would have construed that as throwing in the towel. But rest assured my dear the smiles will return and i will do my part to make sure you are never forgetten. In the meantime, let me cry and feel sorry for your family, your friends, your bloggers and myself. You can kick my ass on the other side.

    By Andrew Turner on Apr 29, 2010

    Leanne, I will miss your constant smile and good humour. I have many fond memories. You were the epitome of grace and beauty.
    Lisa B, I will be saying that mantra along with you today.

    By Eden T on Apr 29, 2010

    What a testament to Leanne’s spirit and generosity that her last post was a gift to anyone out there (out here) who is battling cancer. She has made a positive difference to so many lives.

    Lisa B, you hit the nail on the head when you said “Cancer is a mother fucking bitch whore.” I will make that my daily mantra.

    By Katie on Apr 29, 2010

    “Shine on you crazy diamond”…I am going to miss you beyond words, you shaped who I am today and for that I am forever grateful. I will love you til the end of time through the beautiful Georgia who always has a room in my house. Leanne it was a privelage to be your friend and you in my heart and soul forever.

    By Sarah Cotton on Apr 29, 2010

    of course you are probably up there wanting to point out that I spelled privilege wrong!

    By Sarah Cotton on Apr 29, 2010

    My heart breaks for all of you, such a terrible loss.

    By angela on Apr 29, 2010

    Like everyone who was touched by Leanne I am so saddened to hear this news. She wrote with such courage and humour and inspired so many people that are dealing with this disease. She is truly a special person and will be greatly missed. My heartfelt thouhts are with the family and friends who will not see her face every day but will always be touched by her spirit and love.

    By Maureen on Apr 29, 2010

    A world without you in it Leanne, is a diminished place. We didn’t call you “lady deb” for nothing. You were always full of grace and elegance and you could also be a beautiful “bad girl!” I love you so much and I will miss you forever!!! There just are no words, my sweet, beautiful friend. You are an inspiration to us all and it just SUCKS!! that you are gone!
    XXX0000 I too will be saying “cancer is a mother fucking bitch whore!” because it is!

    By Suzanne (Hank) on Apr 29, 2010

    My dear friend,

    Yes, I know. You’ve gone. And that is such crap. But I’m not ready to let go of the relationship, one-sided though it may have to be. (Don’t let my negativity stop you from defying any physical laws and getting in touch, should the idea appeal to you.)

    Yesterday I wrote and quoted you. I’d been perusing Shakespeare, Salinger, Tolkien, and Zusak, looking for the perfect words to express my grief and celebrate your life, when I said ‘Wait! How about Coppen?’ Sure enough–there it was: profound, inspiring and 100% you.

    But I didn’t say enough. You are a glittering, fabulous, funny, brilliant, and sassy woman. Your heart is huge. You’re generous, considerate and compassionate. And for the record, you were like this as a teenager (with maybe a bit more emphasis on the sass). You lived your life fullout: with elan, love and legendary flair.

    The world is worse off today because it’s minus one Leanne Coppen. So, I promise to not only foul-mouth cancer on a daily basis, but to be a better person, a la you.

    All of my love and grief,

    By diane on Apr 29, 2010

    In the days ahead I will certainly direct as many expletives as I can think of at cancer in Leanne’s honor, and in support of my wife who has drawn immeasurable strength from Leanne’s blog in her own battle with breast cancer. But another thought occurred to me that I think Leanne would have appreciated. I am going to get one of those kid’s Clown Bop Punching Bag dolls, write CANCER on it in big letters, and then beat the crap out of it. And I’ll listen for the sound of laughter from heaven as Leanne watches me kick cancer’s ass all around the yard.

    By Greg on Apr 29, 2010

    Your heart and spirit will live on in the many lives you have touched. I too have been touched by a woman I have never met but have read your entries almost from the beginning as my own sister was fighting the “mother fucking bitch whore” of breast cancer at the same time. I was deeply saddened to hear of your passing. May you rest in painless peace.

    By Krispy on Apr 29, 2010

    To the beautiful little Ms. Georgia…

    I would very much like to meet you someday, if that is ok with you. I was lucky enough to be a friend of your incredible Mommy a long time ago; she used to call me Patrick MooseNeck… pretty funny huh? Even if I lived a thousand years I fear I would never encounter a spirit quite as bright as hers and I know that wonderful spirit lives on deep inside of you.So you see little one…meeting you would be such a great gift and I promise in return I will bring you the biggest and brightest balloon I can find.

    Patrick MooseNeck

    By Patrick Marusinec on Apr 29, 2010

    I had the honour of interviewing Leanne for a profile in Chatelaine. I had spent hours the night before reading every single blog entry. What struck me most was that despite all of the pain and fear, her life was just so incredibly beautiful and so filled with love. I mentioned this to her when we spoke, and her voice went very soft as she thanked me for saying that. “It’s so true,” she said. “I love my life. I really do.”
    So here is to all of the wonderful people – her family and friends – who made such a beautiful woman so incredibly happy.

    By Kate on Apr 29, 2010

    Leanne was part of one of my greatest summer I ever had in life. I miss her smile and I will never forget her as one of the most lovable persons on earth. For you Leanne we will never give up and enjoy every second of our lives….
    Pedicure with Leanne was the funniest girly thing I had…. It is good to think about her….@ Family and friends: Thank yyou for the nice words.
    Lots of Love Petra and Stephan

    By Petra from germany on Apr 29, 2010

    Some memories I’d like to share: http://cultivateyourcourage.blogspot.com/2010/04/good-bye-but-not-gone.html

    By Celia McBride on Apr 29, 2010

    I had met Leanne a handful of times and yet her impact on me was so strong. I looked up to her and just thought her spirit was so unique. You just wanted to be in her presence. It is a mighty loss and my heart goes out to her family and friends.

    By Kellly on Apr 29, 2010

    Leanne was so hopeful and so full of life until the very end. It was a pleasure and a priviledge to get to know her. We helped each other confront that f*****g cancer. We also laughed and drank wine and gossiped about our oncologists like schoolgirls. She never lost her humour and her determination and I will miss her terribly. All my love to Georgia,Axel, Jann, and Hugh.


    By Libby Znaimer on Apr 29, 2010

    I keep thinking of your laugh. Though I haven’t seen you in many years I miss you already. I read your blog everyday. I am trying not to dwell on how unfair this all seems. I am trying to remind myself of what you and your blog unknowingly taught me. That hope is a verb. It is something we do and the more the merrier. More than anything I hope leanne”s family and friends can find comfort in the fact that she lived well, loved well and that no one who met her will ever forget her.You are all in my thoughts. Love tricia

    By tricia on Apr 29, 2010

    Dear Jan and the entire family – my thoughts are with you in sadness. I am so very sorry and I pray there can be some relief from the pain and grief as well. Leanne will always be a one-of-a-kind. A unique, funny, heartwarming, inspiring, brilliant and witty gem of a woman. Many fond memories. We will miss her. Best Susan

    By Susan Willemsen on Apr 29, 2010

    Though I never met her, I cried at the news that this brave, funny and outrageously gifted person is gone. Then I summoned up a choice swear word, that I only save for emergencies, because this is an emergency. We need to stop breast cancer, NOW, and so I’m making a donation to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation today. My heart goes out to Leanne’s family and most particularly, her little girl. May she grow up knowing that her mama was a hero to many.

    By Kathleen on Apr 29, 2010

    I wish I had known you.

    The many and grand words that I read from you and heard from people who knew you, make me believe that you had a talent for making capes and feathers appear in people.

    May I nurture the seeds of feathers in your honor and live up to your expectations of humanity.

    Nos sincères sympathies à Axel et Georgia, et à leur famille.

    By Elisabeth on Apr 29, 2010

    I remember seeing the funeral procession when Princess Diana died, and there was an image of a ruddy-faced little Yorkshire girl standing by the roadside holding a hand-lettered placard that said simply:

    Goodbye Princess

    For Leanne, I can’t think of any better tribute . . .
    and of course to continue the battle, every day, ferociously, until Heaven no longer takes the loveliest and best.

    By Constantine on Apr 29, 2010

    For the last couple of days, I have struggled to understand why someone so wonderful, and precious was taken away. I do not have the answer but when I re-read this poem by Billy Collins, I saw Leanne rowing peacefully along…

    The Dead by Billy Collins

    The dead are always looking down on us, they say,
    while we are putting on our shoes or making a sandwich,
    they are looking down through the glass-bottom boats of heaven
    as they row themselves slowly through eternity.

    They watch the tops of our heads moving below on earth,
    and when we lie down in a field or on a couch,
    drugged perhaps by the hum of a warm afternoon,
    they think we are looking back at them,

    which makes them lift their oars and fall silent
    and wait, like parents, for us to close our eyes.

    By Jen Moore on Apr 29, 2010

    I had the honour to be Leanne’s massage therapist for a few months. We both shared a deep connection with the word “Glorious”. We had many laughs as we found ourselves using that word as often as possible. Glorious! Glorious! That is truly one of the greatest quality of her spirit which continues to radiate and take shape around this shadow of grief that wraps its way around my feet. I will forever be marked by her tender presence, resilience, courage, humour and acute clarity.

    Farewell my Glorious Leanne. May your wings breathe free now where ever you are. Rest in peace~

    My heart felt sympathy to Axel and Georgia and all of whom have been touched and affected by this loss.
    Love and light!

    By Geneviève Nolet on Apr 29, 2010

    One bored afternoon I thought it would be fun to google old friends I lost touch with many many years ago. My best friend, from my earliest memory until she moved away in grade 3, was Leanne. I always wondered what happened to her and was so sad to hear she was battling breast cancer at such a young age. My mother died after battling the disease for 12 years and was never brave enough to talk about her battle like Leanne did. It is still hard for me to be without my mom 2 years later but reading Leanne’s blog helped me understanding my Mom’s battle, as private as she kept it. Thank you to Leanne for helping me make sense of a horrible situation and I am sad she never knew that an old friend was rooting for her. My deepest condolence to her family as well.

    Susan Chalmers

    By Susan C. on Apr 29, 2010

    chris and I have spent the last few nights drinking wine and toasting you… we marvel at the sheer number of nights, weekends and sunday afternoons spent drinking wine, walking the sandbanks beaches, watching our children play, sharing wonderful meals, laughing til our sides hurt and enjoying ever single minute we spent with you, axel and georgia. we love you like family and you will be sorely missed.
    the last time we saw each other you were radiant, as always. when you left you hugged me, told me that you loved me and that you were happy that I was in chris’s life… thank you, I will cherish that memory forever.
    i love you too.

    By natalie on Apr 29, 2010

    If only we could summon Leanne’s extreme talent with words as we struggle to find the right ones at this time. Our hearts ache with sadness and disbelief yet we hold the deepest gratitude for having been blessed with knowing Leanne. Anyone who did know her – either virtually or in person – also knows that Leanne’s spark was far to bright for it ever to be truly extinguished. May we all hold that light in our hearts and hug our babies closer, love our families deeper, cherish our friendships further and live our lives bigger in honour of Leanne.

    By molly & reed on Apr 29, 2010


    You left me a phone message a few months back thanking me for the bottle of zin
    (yes the “definitive zin!!) and flakey bars. Even in this deep stage of grief, you still managed to make me chuckle as you say…. “Are you trying to get me to fall in love with you? Cause it’s working”!!! This phone message will never be erased, just how the memories and the gift of “you” could never be……We all fell for you Leanne. Hard.

    By Vonner on Apr 29, 2010

    My thoughts and prayers are with Leanne’s family and friends. What an amazing woman!!!! We have all profited from her words and life’s journey. May we all remember to treasure each moment of every single day.

    By Catherine on Apr 29, 2010

    Oh my god, I am so devastated to read this post. Here I was thinking over the last few days since the last post that things were going so good in Detroit or something. . I am so heartbroken for all of Leanne’s family and friends. . .I have never had the pleasure of meeting her in real life but I have followed this blog from nearly the beginning. . .I am so sorry for your incredible loss. I wish there was something I could do. . .I would like to send a card–does anyone know how I can do this?

    As I sit here writing this with tears in my eyes, I just want to say thank you dearly to Leanne for being brave enough to share her journey with us, through all the dark passages and the light. I wish all of her friends and family strength during this horrible time. I am so sorry for your loss and I hope the love of those around you sustain you. May Georgia grow up and know her mother was a fiesty fighter, a hell of a writer and a wonderfully brave woman.

    By Laura on Apr 29, 2010

    Words could not express the pit in my stomach and the sadness in my heart that I felt when I heard the news. Although we met but a handful of times, it was clear that Leanne was an intelligent, funny, beautiful, and strong woman who loved her family and friends with all her heart.

    Dearest Leanne, rest in peace and know that you have touched so many lives making each one brighter. You have indeed made the world a better place.

    By yvonne on Apr 29, 2010

    I met Leanne in highschool. We lost touch and reconnected when I had my son 3 years ago. Leanne had sent me tips on motherhood…to this day I still have this email in my inbox. I read Leanne’s blog everyday and she really moved me. Leanne made me think about my life, my mortality, love, kids…Her words really made a difference. I found out about Leanne’s passing on April 28…ironically that is Hero’s Day here in Barbados where I am currently residing. Leanne you are my hero. Rest in peace.

    To Leanne’s family and close friends my thoughts are with you.

    By Sue Laco on Apr 29, 2010

    I’ve been a clandestine bystander in Leanne’s courageous battle, what more can one say but that my 1st and probably only internet post(ever) is to express my deepest condolenses to Georgia,her Dad, and Leanne’s nearest and dearest. She has been an incredible, riverting voice in the horrible drama that is cancer and will be sorely missed. Hate that damn C. Peace to you, Leanne, you never gave up.

    By Kim on Apr 30, 2010

    to our dear leanne’s family and friends, words can’t begin to tell you how sad we were to get the news of her death. We really feel your pain.
    leanne was always giving me support and encouragement in my battle with this crap disease.She was a brave and beautiful person who will live on in her gorgeous daughter.

    We have so many wonderful memories of her.
    we are in England now and remember so well when Leanne came here with Sarah when she was about 15 years old.She made daisy chains for my mother,danced with my brother in the garden and entertained us all with her constant feet washing.
    My neice and nephew remember her as they tried to make her look 18 so she could go to the pub with them.She still looked 15, but so beautiful,who could have refused to let her in!

    We’ll never forget you Leanne.You were an inspiration to us all.

    Carol and Mick

    By carol cotton on Apr 30, 2010

    I remember sitting on a dock with Leanne one afternoon on one of the first nice days of summer last year. We were all in our clothes for a dinner — not even a foot dipped into the water as it glimmered with the hot sun. Suddenly Leanne got up and took a perfect dive into that quenching, cold lake. She bobbed up, gorgeous and smiling, and beckoned us all to join her: “Life is short!”

    By anne on Apr 30, 2010

    I miss you Leanne and cancer is crap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I love you very much Leanne. love, Jamie Douglas (Georgia’s family friend)

    By Alyssa on Apr 30, 2010

    I also knew Leanne from ESA. We were never close friends but we did share many laughs together. I always loved Leanne’s spirit. Her smile melted all the boys hearts… A mutual friend told me of her passing and I was sad beyond words. I too have a young daughter and cannot imagine leaving her…. To Leanne’s family and friends my heart goes out to you and my prayers are with you at this time. You were a brave soul Leanne.

    By Cindy on Apr 30, 2010

    With much love to all of Leanne’s family. Sophia and I feel blessed to have met such a beautiful, loyal and very funny woman. The night of her passing before knowing so, Sophia placed her little cross under her pillow and said a prayer for Leanne. In the morning when I told her that leanne was in heaven she looked under her pillow….the cross was gone. We both looked at each other, I was just as surprised as she was. “I guess Leanne has it in heaven to remember us mum” “I suppose so Sophie”I was really freaked out for awhile. I didn’t tell her I found it a day later in the dog’s crate.

    By franny on Apr 30, 2010

    Hi all,

    From the message on http://www.canceriscrap.com

    Sunday, May 2nd – 1-3pm and 5-7pm, Rosar-Morrison Funeral Home and Chapel, 467 Sherbourne St., Toronto, ON, M4X 1K5, 416.924.1408

    Monday May 3rd – 1:30 pm, Mount Pleasant Cemetery Visitation Centre, 375 Mount Pleasant Road,Toronto, ON, M4T 2V8, 416.485.5572

    NOTE: Enter off Mt. Pleasant Rd. NOT Yonge St. Head towards the office and you will see the Visitation Centre.

    By Alyssa on Apr 30, 2010

    I found a lump in my breast, but postponed having it checked until I read Leanne’s early post called “Lumpy Lefty.” I’ve since had a mastectomy and I’ve followed Leanne’s blog, since she started it here, during my own treatment. Leanne was a special, wonderful woman and a great writer; I always enjoyed her humour and intelligence. Although I never met her, I will miss her very much.

    By Lin on Apr 30, 2010

    Thank you for writing to Leanne’s virtual community to let us know of her passing. I appreciated very much your thoughtfulness in taking the time to write at such a sad time. Living far from Toronto as I do, I shall be part of what, I suspect, will be a crowd of Leanne’s admirers and supporters who will gather in cyberspace to bid her farewell on Monday. May you, as her family, gain some comfort from the knowledge that she was so well loved by those who knew her, as well as by those whose lives she touched so deeply through her Blog.

    By Gwen on Apr 30, 2010

    To Leanne, her family and all her friends.

    We have been witness to an extraordinary human life. Leane, you have impacted many as you promised me you would so many years ago. You will live on in my thoughts and in the lives of all whom you touched. Be at peace.

    By Dave on Apr 30, 2010

    Thanks for the beautiful tribute written for the beautiful Leeanne. Her life and legacy is the only silver lining to an unexplainable, inexcusable tragedy.
    My deepest condolences to Leeanne’s family and friends.
    I wish for every good thing in Georgia’s life.
    Barb Turnbull

    By Barb T. on Apr 30, 2010

    And of course I meant Leanne, not Leeanne.

    By Barb T. on Apr 30, 2010

    reading these responses and reactions has been unbelievably therapeutic for me. i could never read her blog because i never wanted to admit that this was going to happen. today i began. the outpouring of love and from friends and strangers has put a smile on my face and has made me even prouder of her. let this be a continuing legacy. to my princess who loved getting her hands dirty

    By johnny on Apr 30, 2010

    Dear Leanne,

    Thank you for being such an inspiration. I only wish that I could have had the privilege of knowing you better. I’ll never forget your beauty and grace, but I just know those qualities will live on in your sweet Georgia. Peace be with you.

    By Leslie Black on Apr 30, 2010

    How to find the words? Leanne had all the words…my heartfelt sympathies go out to her family and her sweet, baby girl. I was at Huron with Leanne many moons ago but didn’t really get to know her until I followed her blog. It has been an honour and a pleasure to know her, however brief. She will shine on through Georgia.
    Jen (Lessard) Thomson

    By Jen T on Apr 30, 2010

    Reading these postings have been very helpful to me also. I was lucky enough to be with Leanne on Friday and Saturday. And now she is somewhere else and I just hate it. My throat and chest feel so full of something uncomfortable and I don’t think breathing feels normal. I am so sad and mad mad MAD. I am just going to keep sitting with this for now and continue to pray. I love you my beautiful creature!

    By holly on Apr 30, 2010

    I went to read the blog today. Shock. Sadness. I really believed with that spirit…it might end up differently — with a miracle. I am so sorry you will not be on this earth anymore to share your eloquent,touching and damn funny thoughts. I loved reading your words, Leanne.
    We will continue fighting against this disease that has taken a truly amazing and courageous woman. You will never be forgotten. Peace now.

    By Veronica Van Rooyen on Apr 30, 2010

    Farewell, my beautiful daughter,
    For every day of your life, you have filled mine with light and love. It has been such a privilege and a joy to be your dad.
    Your light may be gone; your love never will be.
    I will listen for your voice and carry you in my heart, forever and always.
    Your Dadds

    By Sleepless in San Francisco on Apr 30, 2010

    I left several comments over the last little while telling Leanne to kick this cancer’s ass. Even when we worked together she never listened to me.

    I didn’t stay in touch as much as I should have over the years. It’s funny how that happens with the people you hold in the highest regard. You think they’ll be around forever.

    A beautiful, loving, caring, funny, vivacious soul. I’ll never forget her. She touched everyone she met and extended that group with her writing here.


    By David Jones on May 1, 2010

    I also left an earlier comment on Leanne’s Feathers and Capes post, but like others, have come back to read the tribute and farewell comments. It is awe-inspiring to see how many people were touched by Leanne’s life. Thank you to those who wrote the tribute, it brilliantly captured Leanne’s essence and the frustration we all feel toward this hideous disease.

    May beautiful memories and her legacy sustain Axel and Georgia, and the rest of Leanne’s family and friends as they sadly adjust to life without their treasured wife, mother, daughter, sister and fabulous friend. ❤

    By Tami on May 1, 2010

    I have regretted very few things in my life but towering over all will be
    the fact that I never met Leanne. It feels like a physical pain in my chest
    which leads me to believe that there is such a thing as a broken heart.

    Oh yes, and listen up Cancer, we’ve caught the torch that Leanne passed
    on to us, her virtual posse, and we’re throwing down the gauntlet. We will be on your ugly cowardly ass relentlessly. You may win a few battles, but you’ll never win the f*****g War. So there, take that!!!

    And to you Leanne, love and shalom, Sarah

    By Sarah Milke on May 1, 2010

    My dear Leanne,

    The twinkle in your eyes and soul are seen in your beautiful daughter; unmistakable, unshakable, incredible.

    Thank you for you.

    Hugh and Jan,

    You must be filled with pride. What a wonderful woman you raised. Thank you.

    Shane, Jenn and Taylor

    By Shane on May 2, 2010

    Dear Leanne,

    I never had the privilege of meeting you but through your voice on this blog and your friends (we have a couple in common), I have been moved by your determination, tenacity, optimism and general cancer kick-ass. I whole-heartedly agree with your blogosphere above — the world is more than a little worse off without you . I will miss your words every day and promise to direct choice expletives in cancer’s direction whenever I get the chance.


    By Katie on May 2, 2010

    I, too, am someone who never had the honour of meeting Leanne. As with Katie in the above comment, she and I also shared some common friends.

    I have never been struck by such honesty, clarity, widsom, passion and enlightenment as I have by reading this blog. Such a wonderful joie de vivre was obvious in the richness of her writing.

    I feel so deeply for Axel, Georgia, Mom, Dad, family, and the multitude of friends.

    Rest in peace, precious one.


    By Stephanie on May 2, 2010

    It’s hard to say any words that attempt to make sense of something so nonsensical! Leanne, we saw each other very little over the years but it always seemed as though no time had passed at all! Good peeps, fond memories and white wine with ice cubes can do that! Today, I’ll focus on the loveliness you left behind and the times – however few – we shared. In one of your blogs you mentioned the days in between – you’re right! They’re what make a life and you certainly lived a
    magical one!

    xo Simonee

    By Simonee Chichester on May 3, 2010

    As I tried to mentally and emotionally prepare to say goodbye to you today (how does one do that…..) this song came on my iPod and stopped me in my tracks. I think it’s an incredibly fitting tribute to a beautiful soul, and hearing it will forever remind me of you. Rest in peace Leanne, and may you forever be bathed in sunlight…. (Ben Harper – She’s Only Happy In the Sun)

    By Alison Turnbull on May 3, 2010


    Cut, Cut, Cut! This is the wrong ending to the film! That jerk cancer switched it out and went for a re-edit when we weren’t looking. f’ing a’ole!. Through most of this I think I have been living in the State of Denial/ you know that place right next to County of Cancer. It is like the garden state where only just enough bad stuff happens to like, uh build character, and then it all turns around and you use it to generate positive stuff. That’s what is supposed to happen here, L! You were supposed to write the book – then channel all that amazing love, intelligence, humour and spirit into a million other projects – and leave a legacy of your gifts. Don’t get me wrong – You ARE leaving an amazing legacy to be sure – how could you not/ just being you! But it was supposed to be a much bigger collection. This is absolutely senseless. Now that those of us still hovering in the State of Denial has crash landed in County of Cancer there will be a lot of fighting going on and for you L – we are going to really kick some butt! …as soon as we can see clearly enough through the tears.
    With so much love and respect for you and your wonderful family & friends. My words cannot describe how much you will be missed. Only yours could.

    By Good friend from the East side on May 3, 2010

    I always flip through the Toronto Star before beginning work and this morning I came across an article that changed my day. I read about Leanne and her battle with cancer and was so touched by the story that I continued to find more information by visiting this blog and her website canceriscrap.
    Being a mom to young children, I just couldn’t imagine not being able to see them grow up. Her little girl Georgia will be in my thoughts, along with her many family and friends.
    Seeing this also motivated me to register early for the CIBC Run for The Cure and to also join a team in the Relay for Life in June. This fall when I partcipate in the run, I will be thinking about Leanne, a woman I never met but one whose story has brought me to tears several times today. I hope her little girl will find comfort and love from a large support network.
    Finally, I just want to say F-YOU CANCER!!!

    By Julie S on May 3, 2010

    Thinking about Leanne and her family today, sending my deepest sympathy and support. God Bless

    By angela on May 3, 2010

    Dear Leanne,

    I am just one of so many who have walked invisibly beside you – admiring your courage in the face of cancer, your honesty about the challenges, your humour at the darkest of times, and most of all your capacity for joy in the midst of such suffering.

    Thank you Leanne for sharing your journey. Thank you for the lessons on living.
    You have touched my heart in the warmest way.

    And to your lovely family and wonderful friends – my deepest sympathy.

    By Kerry on May 4, 2010

    I would have loved to have met Leanne personally. Yet somehow I feel that I know her. My son Joel has told me so much about her humour, humanity and valiant fight.
    My sincere condolences to her family. Rose Dubin

    By Rose Dubin on May 5, 2010

    We will miss you!

    By Livia on May 5, 2010

    Thank you my old friend. For sharing your heart. For showing us what could be possible. For opening your arms to those around you.

    Your words have touched so many. We laughed, we cried, and we hoped.

    My deepest sympathy to your family and friends.

    By Gillian on May 6, 2010


    I love you beautiful and I will never forget the most elegant note of appreciation that I have received …so warm and refined ……

    Jan yes you should be proud…..she was is and will be always beautiful……..

    Georgia …….I can only think kisses and hugs ………running around the house and laughing a lot ..that is what mami likes the most …..I’m sure ……….

    Sense of humor and a big smile !!!

    see you around angel…..

    By Patricia on May 7, 2010


    I met your mom just a little over 4 years ago… I recall how long ago it was, as our meeting co-insides with your birthday, my love. Your mom was so elated and excited when she happily shared the news with me; that she was expecting a baby! Leanne was still not showing at the time. My guess is that she was but 4 months pregnant. After a bit of conversation over dinner, I asked if she had thought of any names. She told me that if it was a girl, she would name her Georgia! She loved the name. A few months later… you were introduced to the world. She adored you.
    Darling Georgia, I was truly fortunate to have met and come to know your stunning, kind, smart and inspirational mother and I am blessed to know you; her beautiful and absolutely adored little ’side-kick’.

    By Mia on May 10, 2010

    I to have shed tears for someone that I didn’t personally know. Thank you Leanne for being such a brave person through your ordeal. My thoughts and prayers are with your family and your beautiful little girl. I am taking part in the Weekend to End Women’s Cancers this September in Toronto. I will be walking for Leanne and for all of the other brave women that are battling the “C” word.
    F&%K YOU CANCER!!!!

    By Sandy on May 18, 2010

    I have spent a lot of time on my deck thinking about you, missing you and of course crying. Each time I do a beautiful red bird flies out of no where, sits on a nearby branch and sings. It give me a little comfort, but not much. I miss you and love you. Monty just won’t be the same. I’m going to love your peeps extra special for you.

    By Reilly on May 21, 2010

    Dear sweet lala
    My heart is filled with such saddness at the news of your passing. It has taken me this long to find the courage to say good-bye. I didn’t want to. Oh how we laughed, oh how silly we were. It seemed as though no problem was to big that it couldn’t be solved by a glass (or two) of wine. I will miss always but your memory and your smile will live on in my heart and all of those you have touched. RIP

    By kelly on May 23, 2010

    I too am among those who knew Leanne mostly only through her inspiring blog, a reflection of her indomitable spirit. I also did know her through her dad. It took me until today to read Leanne’s last 2 posts, the family’s post and the magazine’s post. I knew it would get me crying again for a woman I had never met. Leanne touched so many people, and deeply. I cannot match the eloquence of those writers who precede me in this post (and am certainly not in Leanne’s league!) but felt I just had to join the voices raised in honor of Leanne. With special love and hope for Georgia and for Hugh.

    By Arlene Redmond on May 25, 2010

    I went to ESA with Leanne and although we were never close I used to admire her beauty and elegance from a distance. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your loved ones. You are truly an inspiration for us all.

    By Tania on May 27, 2010

    It’s been a month now…

    Every day I think about you and how hard you fought. You remain an inspiration, dear Leanne.

    I keep thinking about all the things that could have been done better from the side of the healthcare system to keep your hope alive at all times, to make it known to you that they, too, are fighting for you in the same intensity like you and your family kept fighting for you…

    I re-read some of your past posts over this past month…I am, in fact, outraged with some of the episodes you went through with the hospital staff. You were always so kind and had understanding for everyone, including understanding for the “we’re very busy here!” person…

    We all know it’s not easy working in healthcare, but then again – if they can’t exercise compassion, understanding and knowledge consistently, then they should have not chosen that career.

    Healthcare needs better people that, above all, respect another’s life and all the lives that are connected with that one life. This respect towards a patient’s life has to come across so clearly in everything they do on an everyday basis. It’s shouldn’be just a matter of staff personality or our luck to have been assigned this person, but it should be tought in medical and other schools, and not just in one class of ethics, but to continually be part of the curriculum.

    We shouldn’t feel lucky to run onto a nurse or a doctor that has all of these qualities…
    Excellence must be a norm. It simply must.
    Quality, true compassion, respect for life at absolutely all times, knowledge, clear and friendly communication….all these attributes MUST be present in every member of the staff in every hospital in Canada (and everywhere else). Especially in the decision-making staff.

    If any of the healthcare workers are reading this, I urge you to take a good look at your job and please understand it’s not a career. It’s not a job.
    It’s a calling.
    It’s one of the most noble vocations one can have. To help a living being. Help them live. Help them retain hope. Help them feel well. Help them understand in a true sense of that word, so that their fear is diminished (or gone), so that they can continue to fight, knowing you’re on their side.

    I am outraged. I wish we all could have done more.

    My love and support go to your little girl and your family.

    By Lejla on May 28, 2010

    I have just finished reading Leanne’s incredibly touching blog from beginning to end. I wish I had been able to read each post while she was still alive but even reading it now I feel that I somehow know her. One of my closest friends has been recently diagnosed with breast cancer and reading Leanne’s blog has given me so much insight and understanding that I feel much better equipped to support my friend through her chemo. I hope I can manifest the same strength and hope that all who loved Leanne did over the many months of her battle. Many, many grateful thanks to Leanne and all of her family for allowing strangers a glimpse into her life and her illness. I feel incredibly priviliged to have been able to travel through that harrowing journey with her. Thank you Leanne!

    By Catherine Shewchuk on Jun 12, 2010

    I think of you often Leanne! We met when I was 11 years old and you were such a special person. All my love to your family.

    By Julie Anderson on Oct 18, 2010

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