Tessa (L) alongside Lucinda
By Lucinda Mansour
In 2016 I lost my beautiful best friend Tessa to brain cancer.
No one really teaches you how to prepare for or deal with death, especially in your early twenties. But what Tessa taught me was how to live, and really live well.
Throughout her life and throughout her battle with brain cancer, Tessa did not stop shining her bright light on all those who were lucky enough to meet her. Her love, care and time for everyone around her was boundless. Tessa always looked for a way to seize the day and find the special magic in it by giving something new a go, being spontaneous, getting involved, motivating others, and always looking on the bright side of life.
Even after long days of intense treatment, Tessa would make her family, friends and the whole hospital laugh by walking around with her IV pole dressed up as everything from a tinsel-wrapped candy cane to a ‘Harry Potter’ broomstick. Up until her very last days her smile was infectious – full of love and warmth – just like her.
Tessa getting into the Christmas spirit during her treatment.
I miss Tessa every single day. Despite her unfathomable strength and courage, the brain cancer had spread to a point where it could no longer be treated in time. It is something that I don’t want anyone else to have to go through – and something which I am determined to assist in finding a treatment for by raising awareness and much needed funds for research. It is this drive and Tessa’s incredible approach to life that has inspired me to commit to running for Cure Brain Cancer Foundation at this year’s City to Surf.
Training for this run is a reminder that every step, and every effort, no matter how small - can build and build to reach a goal. I hope as a community that we never stop building and building our efforts to beat brain cancer and cancer full stop. Together we can and we will. Because as Tessa always used to say "when”, not “if".