Once a year I have a phone call from a friend from my leasing days on New Year’s Day. We’ve pretty much done this since I moved out here to Victoria, missing last year (but for very good reasons!!). It’s one of those rituals that I look forward to.

I met Cathy when I began at Newcourt Financial – now CIT Financial – in 1998 just after she returned to work full-time after her first round with breast cancer. Honestly, Cathy could be intimidating and I know more than one person who was scared of her – not that she was that awful, but because she doesn’t suffer fools very well (and if you’re reading this Cathy, it’s true!!). Did I mention that Cathy may not have held an executive position per se, but her role with the company was valued and she was integral to day-to-day operations including her input into amalgamations, takeovers and the software we used? I’m not quite sure how Cathy and I found our friendship other than the fact that I was curious and genuinely wanted to learn. To that end I approached Cathy for information. I think our bond became stronger when Mom was diagnosed with cancer. She shared with me so much information and resources and was just all-round supportive.

Since that time we’ve stayed in touch. I think very highly of Cathy and I am very fond of her.

I can only imagine her dismay at my own breast cancer diagnosis. Imagine my dismay when I learned that she was undergoing her second round of breast cancer, particularly when it came after 5 years of being clear.

Needless to say, our most recent conversation on New Year’s Day was awesome.

I truly know some amazing and wonderful people. Cathy is one of them.

Till next year, Cathy.