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When I wrote Dream BIGGER: Reclaiming a Life of Joy and Ease, I had the delightful task of interviewing six inspiring people whose dreams had a powerful impact on their community (and in some cases, the world). They came from different backgrounds and countries. Their ages and passions were different. But the one thing they all had in common was the belief that everything is possible.

One of the DreamMakers I feature in the book is Derek Lucas from South Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. When Derek retired, he had a dream – to give away sports equipment to children in need so that everyone could have a healthy, active and fun childhood regardless of income. With the support of his local Rotary Club, the police and a number of community agencies, the dream became a reality in 2007. Since then, hundreds of children have been able to play hockey, ride bikes and enjoy other sports. All because Derek followed his dream.

Recently, the community found a way to say thank you to the tireless 75-year old. At the Rotary Club of White Rock Christmas party on December 8, the mayor proclaimed the day “Derek Lucas Day”. How many of us will ever have a day named in our honour?

While working so hard on behalf of others, Derek has been facing a few challenges of his own. He was diagnosed with leukemia in April 2011. His chemotherapy treatments have now ended, and doctors feel they have nothing else to offer. Rather than becoming discouraged, he continues to approach each day with a sense of humour. As he says, his health issue has made him less of a procrastinator!

His positive attitude is infectious. As he says in this newspaper interview, “You can’t roll over and play dead. There’s a card that’s been dealt to you. Deal with it.”

When I contacted him last week to see if I could include an update about him in this blog, he was happy to oblige. He wished me a happy and successful year and added, “Incidentally, I still feel it’s important to keep following your dream and planning ahead.”

Thanks for the inspiration, Derek!!

Visit www.recforkids.com for more information about Rec for Kids.

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Every day I come across examples of ordinary people doing extraordinary things with their lives. People who dream bigger for themselves and their community, and who inspire others in the process. I thought I’d share a few stories with you today.

According to statistics from the Canadian Cancer Society, 1 in 9 women is expected to develop breast cancer in her lifetime. In fact, most of us probably know or are related to someone in this situation. But how many of these women will see their diagnosis as an opportunity to pursue their life’s dream?

In 1999, Donna was diagnosed with breast cancer. By 2006, she was told that it had spread through her body and she had two to three years to live.  Her cancer is now in remission and, as she puts it, ” I’m living the dream, baby!”  Donna retrained as a trucker through a job program offered by a women’s group in her community. She has been driving a 13-speed Peterbilt tractor-trailer for the past seven months and loving every minute of it.

“When I’m in my truck, I don’t think about my cancer,” she said.”When I’m in my truck, I’m free.”

She considers her cancer diagnosis to be a blessing because it’s made her appreciate her life in new ways. She may be living with cancer, but she’s also living her dream.

And that’s what dreaming bigger is all about.

*****

Last Wednesday evening, I was interviewed on CKWR FM 98.5. Just before me, there was an interview with an inspiring local blues-rock singer, Jazz Williams. She has been writing songs and singing since she was a child and has had made quite a name for herself, sharing the stage with vocal artists like Salome Bey and Liberty Silver. Her latest endeavour, however, is what caught my attention.

Jazz has started WUOF Records, a new record label based in Kitchener, Ontario. Her dream is to help as many female artists as possible be seen and heard. She said it started with her radio show “Feminization” on 100.3 SoundFM. She had gone to women’s business meetings to ask for sponsorship for the show and had received even more financial support than she needed. So she decided to “pay it forward” by creating the record label to give up-and-coming singers the opportunity to make a name for themselves.

We listened to the recording of a song written and performed by a local teen signed by WUOF. Jazz’ eyes lit up when she explained that this young girl had started writing songs at the age of 7, just as Jazz had. That was the moment when I realized that this was a woman who knows how to dream bigger, not just for herself, but for talented young women in her community. And who is willing to do what it takes to make their dreams a reality.

*****

Do you have some examples of dreaming bigger? Share them in a comment below and inspire all of us to explore the vast possibilities life can offer!

 

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