Grit is the theme of the Raw and Reflective 2023 calendar, which is a fundraiser for Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka in Barrie.
Now in year four, organizer and founder Sharon Smith of Connect Hair Studio says they have raised more than $75,000.
Each month of the calendar features a person in a discreet naked pose who has beaten or is fighting cancer.
One of those individuals is Janet Morrison of Barrie.
“For me, grit is mostly about having cancer now for 12 years and figuring out day-to-day life from finances to family to job losses and everything that’s been changed, and how I have had to adapt with every single one of those things along the way.”
Morrison’s cancer journey began in 2010 when she was diagnosed with colon cancer, and though she was successfully treated, two years later came a diagnosis of breast cancer. In 2015, cancer spread to her bones.
“My journey has been a lot of pain and a lot of body parts cut off, but it’s getting up and keep going,” Morrison says.
A scar on her shoulder blade stands out in Morrison’s calendar picture, and she wanted it that way.
“The scar surgery was just a few weeks before the picture was taken, and the scar kind of represented the culmination of where this journey has brought me right now, with that being kind of one of the toughest things that I’ve been dealing with throughout this whole thing.”
The surgery involved removing Morrison’s shoulder blade as it was fractured and full of cancer. The medical team had to get creative, she says, and figure out how they were going to reattach her arm to her shoulder, and they were able to do that.
Morrison has been a member of Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka since 2013 and is involved in a number of different groups.
“It has given me a community that I can really connect with. I have made really excellent friends over the years,” she says. “Some are still here and some I have lost, but there is a lot of power in Gilda’s.”
“And people with cancer, they say unless you don’t have it, then you don’t understand it. I think that is so true, and this is where you come and meet people that understand.”
Banner image: Janet Morrison holds a 2023 Raw and Reflective calendar