CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - A 55-year-old Charlottetown woman who had cancer and shared her final wish with The Guardian died on Wednesday.
Margaret Ross was given only months to live last year and told this newspaper that her dying wish was to be reunited with her family.
Ross died in a hospice care centre in British Columbia Jan. 16. A family friend told The Guardian on Wednesday that she went into care after Christmas when it became too difficult to be on her own.
Ross moved to Nanaimo, B.C., last spring so she could live closer to one of her sons and his family.
However, shortly after arriving she was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer that had spread to her brain and leg. Her dying wish was to see her other three sons and a grandson, who lived on the East Coast, one more time to say a final goodbye and to make some special memories.
The entire family spent Aug. 26 to 31 together in Nanaimo.
“We talked about everything,’’ Ross said in September. “We talked about their future, about legacies; we talked about love. We did a massive amount of reminiscing and it brought back beautiful memories and feelings of those memories came to surface.
“It was incredible . . . there’s just no words to explain it. This miracle that all these people made happen makes it even better.’’
Guardian journalists pick the stories that moved them the most in 2018 - "Her story touched me in ways so many others haven’t. It was Ross’s deep faith, acceptance of her diagnosis and her determination to live out her remaining days with dignity that truly stood out."
The miracle she referred to started with her friend, Rose Barbour, on P.E.I., who jumped into action to help make the reunion possible. She set up a GoFundMe campaign to help raise money for two of the plane tickets.
An anonymous donor stepped in and paid for a third ticket, and a national organization called Give A Mile took care of the fourth ticket.
This reporter kept in touch with Ross since two of the stories appeared in the newspaper.
Her last email to The Guardian came just before Christmas, and it was bad news.
Her doctor had given her a heart-wrenching diagnosis. The cancer had spread with a vengeance.
Ross was told she had days, maybe weeks to live.
Still, she said her deep faith remained steadfast and wasn’t going to change despite the bad news, news that she had accepted many months ago.