Emily’s buckle of hope

Grand­daugh­ter’s gift en­cour­ages sup­port for the Can­cer Care Foun­da­tion


Emily Lane was only five years old when her grand­mother Sheila fin­ished her first round of can­cer treat­ment.

At such a young age, the blond kinder­gartener un­der­stood what her grand­mother was go­ing through be­cause she wit­nessed her can­cer jour­ney from the be­gin­ning.

Emily is now 10 years old, and re­mem­bers the strug­gles and pain she seen her Nan ex­pe­ri­ence, but al­ways be­lieved she would pull through.

The Lane fam­ily — Sheila, hus­band Barry, son An­drew, son Blair, his wife Pam and their three chil­dren, Emily, Daw­son and Brianna — sat down with The Com­pass at the fam­ily home in Bay Roberts to dis­cuss a very spe­cial bond Sheila and Emily share and the gift that helped cre­ate it

Learn­ing her fate

In 2007, be­fore get­ting di­ag­nosed, Sheila — who is 54 — had some tests or­dered by her doc­tor. She was in the fam­ily ve­hi­cle, wait­ing for her hus­band Barry to come out of a store when she re­ceived a phone call.

“My doc­tor called and told me I had (uter­ine) can­cer,” Sheila, who hails from Sop’s Arm on the North­ern Penin­sula, ex­plained. “There was a mes­sage left for me at home from the can­cer clinic, so the doc­tor thought he should tell me be­fore I heard it there.”

That was the mo­ment ev­ery­thing changed for the Lane fam­ily. They didn’t know what would hap­pen, or if Sheila would pull through, but they stuck to­gether.

Los­ing her locks

Sheila re­mem­bers when she first be­gan los­ing her hair dur­ing the treat­ment, stat­ing it was an emo­tional mo­ment.

“For a lot of women who have can­cer, the first dra­matic thing they ex­pe­ri­ence is that they are go­ing to lose their hair,” she said.

Al­though it was tough, Sheila said she went to her stylist and had her head shaved . Her youngest son An­drew, who would be grad­u­at­ing the same week, threw hi s sup­port be­hind his mother and shaved his head too.

“An­drew told me, ‘Mom, when you came home with your head shaved, I knew I was go­ing to shave mine,’” Sheila con­tin­ued.

The two had pho­tos taken to­gether at An­drew’s grad­u­a­tion, both sans hair.

Emily’s gift

The Lane fam­ily planned a spe­cial gath­er­ing for when Sheila com­pleted her f irst round of treat­ment early in 2008. Friends and fam­ily gath­ered to­gether to cel­e­brate her mile­stone.

Af­ter ev­ery­one else left, and only Sheila and her grand­daugh­ter Emily were left in the house, Emily pre­sented her grand­mother with a small red and gold ring box. Sur­prised, Sheila took the lid off the box, and in­side was a pink and blue hair clip.

Emily pro­ceeded to tel l her grand­mother, “This is for when your hair grows back.”

It wasn’t un­til Christ­mas 2008 that Sheila told the fam­ily about the present.

“The best gift I’ve ever re­ceived was what Emily gave me,” she said.

The story was re­vealed, and fam­ily mem­bers burst into tears at the beau­ti­ful ges­ture by such a young girl.

“It was just like Emily to do some­thing like that, some­thing thought­ful and some­thing pro­found,” Emily’s mom, Pam, said.

Blair, who is a busi­ness owner and singer/song­writer, used the ex­pe­ri­ence to write a song about the buckle and the story be­hind it. He cal l ed it Pretty Buckle (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tl-o_1AL-eM&fea­ture=share).

The gift be­came more pre­cious af­ter Sheila got di­ag­nosed with two more types of can­cer — a treat­able and non-treat­able lym­phoma. She lost her hair again, but this time had son Blair hold the clippers. It was then Sheila and Barry split their home be­twe e n Sop’s Arm and Bay Roberts.

Sheila is do­ing well . She has beaten the treat­able form of lym­phoma, and is cur­rently fight­ing the other.

Con­cert of hope

Be­cause of the strain can­cer has had on the Lane fam­ily, Blair de­cided he wanted to raise money for the Dr. H. Bliss Mur­phy Can­cer Care Foun­da­tion.

Just this sum­mer, Blair went to Nashville, Ten­nessee and recorded an al­bum with all orig­i­nal songs. With the al­bum set to re­lease in Novem­ber, he felt it was the per­fect time to use the re­lease as a fundraiser for the foun­da­tion.

Cather­ine Sim­mons of Cather­ine’s Dance Stu­dio in Bay Roberts will be per­form­ing while Blair sings “Pretty Buckle.” Cather­ine’s mother lost her bat­tle to can­cer last year.

The foun­da­tion has been on­board since the con­cert was an­nounced.

“Every­body has been touched by can­cer,” Blair said. “And what a way to help the cause than do­nat­ing the pro­ceeds from the con­cert to the Can­cer Care Foun­da­tion.”

The con­cert will take place at the Princess Sheila NaGeira Thea treat the Con­cep­tion B ay Re­gional Com­mu­nity Cen­tre in Car­bon­ear on Nov. 23 at 8 p.m.

For tick­ets or more in­for­ma­tion, call 596-7529.

Photo by Melissa Jenk­ins/Spe­cial to The Com­pass

The Lane fam­ily gath­ered in Bay Roberts re­cently to talk about the fam­ily ma­tri­arch’s bat­tle with can­cer, and the beau­ti­ful gift her old­est grand­daugh­ter gave her af­ter her first bout of treat­ment was over. Those in at­ten­dance were, back — (l-r) An­drew Lane (son), Daw­son Lane (grand­son), Barry Lane (hus­band), Blair Lane (son), Brianna Lane (grand­daugh­ter) and Pam Lane (daugh­ter-in-law); front — Sheila Lane (wear­ing the hair buckle) and Emily Lane.

Photo by Melissa Jenk­ins/Spe­cial to The Com­pass

Sheila Lane (right) is a can­cer sur­vivor. When grand­daugh­ter Emily was five years old, she gave Sheila a blue and pink hair clip af­ter com­ple­tion of her first round of can­cer treat­ment, say­ing it was for when her hair grows back. Now 10, Emily places the clip in her grand­mother’s hair for the first time.

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