Congratulations to Shane Simpkins, from Hamilton, nominated by his partner Sam. Shane was the lucky winner of our Wanderlust Festival/Courage My Love yoga class prize pack. We’re so touched by Shane and Sam’s entry story, that we’re sharing it below. It was written by Sam Wenham.
Love and courage
“Well I can honestly say that those two words describe my husband Shane perfectly. Let me tell you a little about this amazing guy I know and love, and why tickets to Wonderlust would be perfect for Shane; to recharge himself ready to continue fighting his courageous battle against cancer.
We met while living in Canada, working on the rivers in the summer and the moutains in the winter – travelling, hiking, partying with not a worry in the world. We were then blessed with the news that we were expecting our first baby while volunteering in Guatemala, so decided it was time to venture back to New Zealand to begin the next chapter of our lives – parenthood.
Our beautiful baby girl arrived in August 2010, and Shane transformed into the most loving, hands-on and involved dad. He worked hard at his job, volunteered as a rugby referee on the weekends, took on papers to work towards a finance degree, and juggled this all while being the most amazing partner and dad to our girl.
September 2013 we found out that we were expecting our second baby. Life was awesome. Our family was growing, Shane was awarded most improved rugby referee for the year and he got a promotion at work. Then November 11 happened.
I will never foget that date, as it was this day that our lives changed forever. Shane suffered a grand mal seizure at work, knocking himself unconscious. After being rushed to hospital, scans revealed a tumour the size of a golf ball growing in his brain. This discovery was promptly followed by brain surgery to remove a tumour and the diagnosis of Grade 4 Glioblastoma Mutliforme (GBM) cancer. A full-on schedule then began, involing recovery from the surgery, radiation and chemotherapy over the summer of 2013/2014.
Shane showed such courage, determination and focus throughout this time. I knew he was amazing – but seeing him with this internal fight that was so strong just solidified this. 2013 was a massive year of change for Shane. He overhauled his lifestyle, introducing daily mediation, a diet of clean whole foods, juicing, practised mindfulness, cut out all alcohol and began to look after himself from the inside out.
In November last year another brain tumour was found, so he couragously went in for brain surgery number two in Decemeber, making it home in time for Christmas. Shane is now taking time to recover from his recent surgery and preparing himself mentally and physically for what the future may bring.
Now, love…. we are surrounded by the most amazing family and friends – all of whom have shown us what love really is. Meals, cuddles, cards, laughs, mowing of lawns, more hugs, listening, crying and just being there, for not only Shane but myself and our two beautiful girls. Love is what makes Shane’s journey do-able.
As Lao Tzu said “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”