Donna Morrison - Meeting life's challenges head on

Sadly, BCAC member group, the Rotorua Breast Cancer Trust (RBCT), recently lost their chairperson to breast cancer. Fellow trustees on the RBCT write of her warmth and vitality and how Donna showed them how to meet life's challenges head on.  Read their tribute below.

When I first met Donna we had an instant connection.  We were both facing a huge hurdle - breast cancer.  I had just completed my treatment journey and Donna was about to embark on hers.

Her wonderful sense of warmth and vitality was inspirational so we asked her to be a poster girl for the 2009 Pink Walk campaign.  She accepted and from then on Donna became one of our Rotorua Breast Cancer Trust sisters.

Right from the start she showed us how to face life’s challenges head on.  Not one to give in, she soldiered on through chemotherapy, radiation, running her interior design business, supporting and loving her husband, children, family and friends, and remaining ever faithful to her God.

Her management skills were outstanding and it quickly became obvious that she should head the Trust.  After the Trust’s first AGM, Donna was voted into the position of Chairperson.  She would arrive at our monthly meetings, sometimes totally exhausted but always looking gorgeous.  She was positively focused and enthusiastic and ran our meetings with extraordinary flair.  She put her feisty nature to good use in order to keep her ‘sisters’ on track.  She was creative and organized and could inspire us to move forward with a clear vision.  Donna was infectious and simply classy right down to her perfectly manicured long painted fingernails that tapped away continuously on the keyboard of her laptop or her groovy red phone.

At the beginning of 2010 Donna’s health started to deteriorate.  We all crossed our fingers and dug deep into our hearts to pray for a positive outcome.  This was not meant to be.  Each diagnosis seemed more bleak.

At the end of November 2010 my sister Raechel and I made the trip to Waikato Hospital to visit Donna.  She was spending some quality time with her beautiful daughter Neive.  Raech and I were privileged to be a part of this time for a couple of hours.  I painted her toenails and massaged her feet.  We joked and laughed.  We cuddled and cried.  We said our goodbyes with warm hugs.  I will always cherish that time with Donna, as it was to be the last time I would see her.

Donna Louise Morrison left this world to continue her journey with the angels on December 16th 2010.  She was only 40 years old.  She will forever be a special part of our lives - magical memories held tight in our hearts.

R.I.P. beautiful lady.  R.I.P. Chairperson-Extraordinaire.  You are one-of-a-kind.

With love always,
Diane, Dell, Jenny, June, Jacqui, Gillian, Sue, Raechel and Lisa – Your Rotorua Breast Cancer Trust sisters