A Daughter’s Dream for the Future

A Daughter’s Dream for the Future

Love, Loss and Giving...

Like many little girls, when Stephanie Armstrong was a child, she dreamed of her wedding day. Now that this day is approaching however, Stephanie finds herself feeling both the excitement of this next phase of her life, but also sadness because her father won’t be there.

When Stephanie was just 10-years-old, her father Gordon (known by most as Gordie) passed away after a long battle with a brain tumour. Diagnosed before she was even born, Stephanie often forgot her dad was even sick. But deep down, she knew what the future likely held.

She even recently uncovered an old journal entry where, as a child, she transcribed, “I’m scared that my Dad is going to die. I love him. I want him to walk me down the aisle when I get married…but it won’t happen.”

Now at the age of 23, this has all come together in a cathartic fundraising initiative Stephanie is spearheading. Last summer Stephanie got engaged and immediately she thought of her dad and she decided to do something. A full-time dentistry student, Stephanie is also a creative soul and with this inspiration she has launched The Gordie Project.

Stephanie and the Gordie Project raising funds for brain tumoursSince January, Stephanie has been selling handmade headpieces: they are floral and chain jewelry pieces worn on the head, commonly in the yoga community and at music festivals. She has set-up an online store, built a social media following, attracted a lot of media attention and has fulfilled orders from across North America.

Certainly the project has received a lot of attention, connecting Stephanie to the brain tumour community in a way she couldn’t have imagined: “I’ve met individuals who have experienced brain cancer directly and/or indirectly have contacted me to share their stories. It has been a completely humbling experience. I am not only grateful to the people who donate, but also to those that offer kind words and support.”

All of the funds she is raising are coming to Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, because, as Stephanie explains, “I want to make sure that the funds I am raising are going towards research for brain tumours and helping other families who find themselves in similar situations to what I experienced with my dad. I am also aware that non-malignant brain tumours can be just as devastating as malignant ones and I don't want to limit the contribution in my dad's name to cancer alone. I did some research and immediately felt a need to donate to a relatively underserved cause.” As of the middle of February, Stephanie has raised more than $5,000.

When asked about how important this fundraising effort has been for her, Stephanie says, “The Gordie Project has been a wonderful way to remember my dad, but it also has been a little bit bitter-sweet. His memory has become very salient in the New Year with the launch of the project. While, for the most part, it has been a really uplifting experience, it has also been laced with sadness. The fact that he will not be at my wedding has become more real to me now than ever.”

As she looks towards the future and thinks about all of the dreams she has for her life, her career, her family and her marriage, she pauses and says, “We will feel overwhelming support and joy when we get to present the cheque on our wedding day in memory of my father.”

You can support The Gordie Project by making a purchase on their website or checking it out on Facebook.

Thank you Stephanie for all of your support with this community event.

To learn more about hosting your own community event or awareness event, contact:

Eileen Quigg
Community Events Officer
1-800-265-5106 or 519-642-7755, ext. 224

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Story posted: February 2015 

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