In October 2021, I saw a devastating story on The Project about a woman who was diagnosed with cancer at 29 weeks pregnant and given 3 weeks to live.
That woman was Karyn Love. Her daughter is Billi Love.
I of course jumped on the Go Fund Me page and donated, but when I saw that she was in Brisbane, and the story asked for volunteers, I felt called to do more.
As a mother of a young child myself, Finn was 9 months at the time, I knew how very challenging those early months are. I had said in my earliest weeks and months when we were surrounded by family, friends, health care, support and love – that I would do all in my power to help mums in need in the future.
I couldn’t give much time, but I wanted to help. The wonderful Camilla who organised not only the Go Fund Me but round the clock volunteers for 18 months, welcomed me into this special community and I got to start helping Billi and Karyn.
Now I know why I was called to help so much. Because this family was so so full of love. Karyn’s legacy is love. She radiated it. She talked about it. She showed it. She was it. She was love.
From the moment I walked into her home and got the most heartfelt hug of my life, we had a connection. I was there to help with Billi and give her rest, but as both new and first time mums – we connected. We could speak about the challenges of motherhood. I knew nothing of what she was experiencing with her cancer and could only offer my empathy and help, but motherhood – we could relate.
I loved our chats. I loved her laugh. I loved her truly all embracing hugs. Her view of the world was beautiful and she spread her message of love so fiercely.
Forever I’ll treasure the memories of sitting and talking while her daughter played. Bathing Billi together and sharing stories of motherhood. Walks amongst the beautiful nature in the home she loved, Billi on my chest so her mumma could rest. Getting both our babies together for a play date at her home, seeing mummy & daughter in rainbow matching outfits. The joy and the laughter of that day will live on in me forever.
I held her hand the day she had her head shaved. Surrounded by family, beautiful friends and fellow volunteers, we shared in her bravery, her sorrow, her surrender and as always – her love!
I don’t profess to have had much time with Karyn in the grand scheme of things. I helped when I could and in the later months, I visited and connected more as a friend then a helper. But when magical people come into our lives, we don’t always need a long time to have that lasting impact. There was something so truly special about Karyn and these past 14 months have taught me lessons for a lifetime.
On the 12 December 2022, Karyn peacefully left our world.
I am heartbroken for the tragedy of the circumstances. I am sad for I have lost a friend. I am grateful because I got to experience such love – between Karyn and those around her but mostly with her beautiful little girl Billi.
This darling will now live with her Aunty. The family will still continue to need support and I ask that if you are called to, you would make a donation to Billi’s future and help to contribute to the legacy of LOVE her mum has built.
To Camilla and the incredible community of volunteers that I was honoured to be a part of, this is love. Your generosity, willingness to jump in at a moments notice, and time you have all given to this family is nothing short of incredible. It was truly something beautiful and I am really so privileged to be among you all.
Again, I am very sad and this week has been so hard. On Sunday, we will get to honour Karyn’s memory and say a proper farewell together and wish Billi a wonderful new chapter.
Thank you to everyone who has reached out with your kindness and asked about Karyn’s story. The best way we can honour her is to show and share love.