Thumbs up for #Dominicstrong
Dominic Rooney is a little boy who touched so many lives with his outgoing personality, love for Cheetos and Smarties, and because he had cancer. Dom was so young, and cancer was not what defined him. He didn’t know what he was missing, he didn’t know his friends were going to playdates and going swimming. He was happy pretty much no matter what. Dominic was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia when he was 11 months old. Through his 2 year journey receiving treatment at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, he met and experienced visits with superheroes, professional athletes, and princesses. Dominic passed away while on his wish trip to Disneyworld with his parents Sean and Trish by his side. The symbol of Thumbs Up is one used to remember Dom and team #Dominicstrong has been walking since 2015 in his memory carrying gold lanterns.
The biggest positive for Dom’s parents about the journey is the people that they have met. The community that helped them through. It’s the worst of time and the best of times with so many extreme emotions playing out daily. People who haven’t gone through it may not understand – it’s the worst thing that could happen, but also if you weren’t going through it you wouldn’t learn to have such perspective, and be so vividly reminded about the important things in life. The importance of family, of community, of hugs and dancing to your favourite songs.
Sara and Kruise, co-captains of team #Dominicstrong say that meeting Dominic and the Rooney family changed their perspective on everything. Seeing how one little boy could be so strong was transforming for them. As friends prior to their lives intersecting with Dom, Kruise and Sara felt their friendship grow stronger, feeling inspired to be better people. It reinforced the need to acknowledge the people in their lives, and to try to find the silver lining of happiness even during dark times.
Team #Dominicstrong came to be when co-captain Kruise found out about the event from a friend. Participating for the first time in 2015 just weeks after Dom’s passing was a special way to honor just how much Dom touched so many people. Light The Night allows you to be part of something impactful, and know you’re making a difference by giving back, and honouring and remembering others on their journey.
Why should you be part of Light The Night? Because your community needs you now more than ever. Just like parents in the hospital, this community has to find ways to come together. Everyone wants a reason to feel good, and this is the perfect opportunity to do it.
Life in a cancer ward is similar to what we’re all having to go through (with COVID) right now. You can’t see your community, connect with them in the same ways. You have to make extra effort to connect with people, and especially for those who might be more isolated. Also make sure to take breaks for yourself, and let others know when you need some help. There’s so much technology out there, use it to do good.