While many of us ate, drank and were merry over the holidays, Gabrielle Morin was preparing for the fight of her life against aggressive cancer.

She has overwhelming support in her battle. Her GoFundMe campaign exceeded its $30,000 goal in a single day. That money, along with $25,000 of her family’s savings, helped pay for a three-week stay at a health treatment centre in Mexico, where she’s concentrating on getting healthy.

Iqaluit resident Gabrielle Morin with her husband Jean-Philippe Laprise and their sons Pierre-Luc, Jean-Gabriel and Maxence. Morin is at a health treatment centre in Mexico as she attempts to recover from stage four breast cancer. Sarah Bedard photo

“Oh my God! I cannot believe how it goes. It’s such a gift of God,” Morin said of the numerous donations before she left Canada.

Her disease has advanced rapidly. She was initially diagnosed with stage two breast cancer on Oct. 8. That soon progressed to stage four with cancer spreading to her lymph nodes.

In her GoFundMe campaign, she shared how the cancer diagnosis hit her like “a bomb” but she also expressed her strong will to persevere.

“My heart as a mother is bleeding. I want to be with my children, to see them grow up and become adults. I want to be a grandma. I want to grow old with my husband. I want to live!”

She and her husband, Jean-Philippe, departed from Ottawa for Mexico on Dec. 26 with a scheduled return date of Jan. 16.

They entrusted their three children to her family in Quebec. Asked whether her young boys understand the gravity of her diagnosis, Morin replied, “The first thing they thought is you’re going to lose your hair. You’re going to be sick. You’re going to lose your breast… and I said, ‘We’ll see. I want to work on mommy’s body. We’ll see what’s happening.’

“They know, but they are kids. The older one is only eight and it’s hard to figure out in their heads what is going on. I tried to tell them that, you know, it’s going to be fine.”

Leaving the boys behind during the Christmas holidays would make her “super sad,” she admitted.

“Maybe next year I’ll be with them at the same place or we’ll go somewhere else because I’ll be healthy,” she suggested.

Morin, 34, had heard of the Sanoviv Medical Institute in Mexico through friends who were treated there, and her mother visited the site before. Her treatment program will encompass a batteries of tests, an array of therapies, many medications and supplements as well as focus on nutrition, relaxation and fitness.

Her grandmother, mother and younger sister all survived various stages of breast cancer, although through more conventional methods such as surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation. Chemotherapy remains an option for Morin after returning from Mexico.

Despite the alarming predicament, her outlook remains positive, which she attributes to her faith in a higher power.

“I’m Christian and I believe in God so much,” Morin said. “He guides me all the time. If I want to control something, it won’t work. But if I let Him work on me and on my family, He’s always right. It’s pretty amazing for me. My faith is in God all the way.

“A lot of people are praying for me and send me love… it’s a big wave. I’m so grateful. I was crying all the time.”

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