Forty Years Together
From Gladys Radek
Good day, my wonderful team at the Vancouver Pentland’s office! I just wanted to say thank you, to each and everyone of you, for your invaluable services to me for so many years.
It has been such a pleasure to be greeted by Noreen, with her big beautiful smile and warm heart. She welcomed me to Pentland’s back in 1977, when I made the choice of becoming an amputee. Noreen made me feel comfortable about my decision, immediately. Her welcoming smile made me feel at ease and I was no longer afraid. She accepted me for who I am, a woman who needs a leg. Throughout the years we have become good friends.
Then I met Dave Dillon who did his utmost to make a difficult alignment of my leg into mastering walking again. Miraculously Dave and his team did everything they could to make me walk and succeeded to keep me out of pain all these years.
When Dave Dillon retired I was introduced to Dana, whom I now refer to as my “Leg Man.” Dana has done everything in his power to keep me walking with no pain. The stability of the legs he has built for me, over the years, gave me the comfort, strength and stability to organize and participate in walks across and throughout the country; to raise awareness about the far too many Missing and Murdered Women and Girls in Canada.
We walked for this National Inquiry, which is a small stepping stone into ending Violence against Women and Girls in this country. When the media found out I was an amputee, I refused to talk to them about my leg because it was not about me. It was about the hearts and souls of the families who have lost their loved ones to violence. No desire to be another Terry Fox or Steve Fonyo, I just wanted this country to open their eyes on the ongoing violence against women, which is still happening today.
A huge thank you to our newbie Leah, whom I refer to as “Bubbles”, because of her bubbly personality, is a great addition to your staff! I totally love her and think she will be great for all the clients. Leah is definitely a keeper.
Last, but not least, a huge thank you to Chris! It has been at least 5 years since I have a replacement leg. We walked from Vancouver to Ottawa and from Membertou, Nova Scotia to Prince Rupert, British Columbia, and on mini walks in between, with my organizations Walk4Justice and Tears4Justice. Chris, thank you so much for relieving me of being ashamed of being an amputee. That shame no longer exists, and awareness of our cause is now visible. I wear skirts and shorts proudly!
A huge thank you to all of you for being such a significant part of my life. It is because of you that I walk tall and proud.