A Small Act of Kindness Can Mean So Much
Lana Zulak of Wynyard, Saskatchewan is living proof how a small act of kindness can make all the difference for someone during a dark time.
For Lana and her family, those dark days began when her husband Terry was diagnosed with Stage 3 Melanoma in August of 2016. Earlier that year while working on a family vehicle a mole on Terry’s back opened.
“Which led then to it not healing and going in and starting a process of dermatologist referrals, skin biopsies and meeting a surgeon,” Lana explains.
Tests would eventually reveal it had spread to his lymph nodes. Terry would begin a course of treatment that included clinical trials in immunotherapy and radiation.
Lana describes her husband as almost larger than life. He loved his family, their farm and his job with CP Rail. According to her, he was the type of guy that would help the stranger stranded by the side of the road. Throughout his treatments, Terry was always positive.
“We have so many optimistic outlooks on it that Terry was always remaining optimistic that he was going to kick cancer’s ass and never give up.”
Cancer got the better of Terry as it continued to spread. He would eventually pass away on December 14, 2018.
After Terry’s passing the family knew they wanted to give back but they also wanted to do it in a heartfelt way. An experience Lana had while at the Saskatoon Cancer Centre for one of Terry’s appointments left such an impact on her, the entire family knew what they wanted to do.
“I couldn’t get the darn metre to take my $5. And a very sweet lady who was also there put some money in the machine and paid my parking. She wouldn’t take my $5 and in that moment, we knew that there was some good in those acts of kindness.”
Lana says she talked with her husband how that small act made her feel. They joked that if they ever won the lottery, they were going to do the same for others. They never won the lottery but with the help of the Cancer Foundation of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency Lana and her kids Brooke, Blake and Brian gave back in a meaningful way on Oct. 18, 2019, one day after what would have been Terry’s 54th birthday.
They spent the day at the Saskatoon Cancer Centre paying for every patients parking who came to the centre.
“So, on that morning we had to get the social workers to get us the good Kleenex. People were so grateful because it was a little sun in their day,” Lana says smiling.
Lana says there were a lot of tears and hugs throughout that day. And as much as they were there to brighten the day of someone else, they received much more in return.
“And then they hugged us all again, it was so therapeutic.”
At this time of year, Lana is reminded of the adage that a small gift can go a long way and she hopes everyone takes that to heart during the holiday season.
Thanks to the Zulak Family over $730 in parking fees were paid for 146 cancer patients on October 18.