Monday Mood Board #13

The Weekend

With Lisa, Colleen, Stacey & Wendy at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel, Vancouver.

Meaningful Evening: Quest for a Cure for CF (cystic fibrosis).

What a fun, colourful event for such a worthwhile cause. Celebrating East meets West at the Fairmont Waterfront hotel for the yearly “65 Roses Gala” with great food, entertainment, friends, and auction items. Our gracious Master of Ceremonies was CBC’s Gloria Macarenko. Special mention to our dear friend Colleen Kohse  (in the middle of the above photo) who underwent a double lung & heart transplant 29 years ago. She also had a kidney transplant. She’s not only the poster girl for CF, she’s also extremely inspirational.  Always up for a good time with a wicked sense of humour.

CF stands for cystic fibrosis. To date there is no cure, but hopefully one day CF will stand for “Cure Found.” 

The Vancouver Health Show at the Convention Centre (Canada Place) had a very familiar keynote speaker.

images: d. king

I picked up a few really great new products which I’ll share with you very soon.  But for starters here’s an amazing new product geared for kids and teens although even I put a scoop being the kid that I am in my smoothies.  The taste is undetectable which is good because you get the health benefits without overpowering any other ingredients you choose to put into your smoothie.  Or it can be added to any type of juice or even plain water for that matter.

With formulator Brad King at the Samuraw booth


is a new product that has been flying off vitamin & natural food stores of late.  There’s no deception or hype because health fanatics have developed it to deliver optimal nutrition to kids when they need it most.  The organic vitamims, minerals and cofactors are 100% absorbed by the body – compared to less than 25% with synthetic vitamins. Every serving (of one scoop) contains the nutrient equivalent of 7 servings of fruits and vegetables. It includes the world’s most clinically-tested probiotic and does not have preservatives, fillers, binders, artificial sweeteners or flavouring agents of any kind. It’s the first truly natural 100% organic, real-food-derived multi vitamin/mineral formula.

In essence…it really kicks butt!

Well that was pretty much my inspiration for the past weekend




Style: Breathe Easy

Fall is the season for changing leaves, transformation and Galas.

Gala events of which there are plenty, always go to support a worthwhile cause.

Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is one of them

The Invite
The Invite

CF is a multi-organ disease primarily affecting the lungs and digestive system of children and young adults. Ultimately, most CF deaths are due to lung disease.

I always look forward to going to the Annual 65 Roses Gala because not only does it help fund research and clinical care here in BC and Canada but overall it’s a great evening with good food and a fun crowd where you get to dress up, mingle and dance.

This year we pay homage to the glitz and glamour of the roaring twenties and the Gatsby era. Flowing champagne, glamorous guests (of course) and stunning décor will set the stage for a fundraising event like no other.

If you live in Vancouver and would like to attend there are still some tickets available. Cost is $300 per person.  You can purchase tickets online at or call 604.436.1158gala2

Or you can send a cheque if you prefer. This is not my usual pattern to ask for cash donations but hey; it is such a good cause I decided to go ahead because I know many of you will and it will be extremely appreciated.

There is no cure, but there is hope!

Help us breathe hope into a world with NO cystic fibrosis.  Then we can all breathe easier.

This was from an event last week at the Vancouver Holt Renfrew – an evening in support of CF.  All the Holts across Canada gave a portion of any shopping proceeds from the evening to CF.  I’m with my friend Colleen (who has CF and received a Heart/double Lung transplant 27 years ago – her surgeon was knighted) acting a bit goofy in a somewhat animated photo booth set up in the store.  So it was fun to have a another good reason to shop.

So thank you in advance for whatever you decide to do to help out.  XO

An Inspiring morning of  Fun, Fitness, Flowers & Friends.

You can’t ask for much more than raising awareness for a good cause while getting exercise in fresh air in an unbelievably elegant, artful environment.

L-R Kasseda, Cher, Wendy, Me (with candy in both pockets), Hannah, Colleen, Stacy
L-R Casseda, Cher, Wendy, Debbie (both pockets full of candy), Hannah, Colleen, Stacey

That’s what happened yesterday morning when I met up with friends at Vancouver’s magnificent VanDusen Botanical Gardens to support our mutual good friend Colleen Kohse. Colleen is the oldest living person (with the youngest spirit) with CF in all of Canada to have received a transplant.

Photo: d. king
Photo: d. king
Photo: d. king
Photo: d. king

Colleen is a miracle and a true inspiration to everyone because she doesn’t take life for granted.  She’s lost too many friends and two young siblings to this fatal genetic disease which primarily affects the lungs and digestive system in mostly young adults and children of which there is no cure.

Come this October it will be 28 years that I first met Colleen, just before she left for London, England to receive a heart/lung transplant.  But we didn’t get to really know each other until after that.  We’ve been friends for years and have travelled together to places like Jamaica, Havana, Florida, Savannah, Ga, Charleston, S.C., New Orleans, California and even a short Caribbean cruise out of Miami.  Always fun. Colleen is lucky to have the most wonderful, supportive family.

The morning started with a breakfast of pancakes & sausages, then dancing to warm up the crowd followed by a very pleasant walk through the most exquisite park to raise money to help find a cure for CF.  There were also fun great silent auction items.  I ended up with 2 out of the 3 items that I placed bids on.

 VanDusen Botanical Gardenvanduesen1

You will be inspired by 22 hectares of well-designed landscapes with plant species representing ecosystems ranging from the Himalayas to the Mediterranean, from Louisiana swamps to the Pacific Northwest.

Photo: d. king
Photo: d. king
Photo: d. king
Photo: d. king

Vancouver’s mild climate makes it possible for plants to bloom year-round – so there is always something wonderful to see. Our climate creates a unique environment where plants from varying climates thrive. At VanDusen you will see plants from the southern hemisphere, tropical areas and the high Arctic tundra alongside native species. Seasonal highlights include: Spring — bulbs, cherry trees, azaleas and rhododendrons; Late Spring — Laburnum Walk and roses; Summer — annuals, perennials and water lilies; Late Summer – wild flower meadow and the Heirloom Vegetable Garden; Autumn – brilliant autumn colour, heathers, perennials; Winter — witchhazels, viburnums and hellebores. The Elizabethan Maze is one of only six in North America. In addition to the plant collections, VanDusen’s eco-sphere is home to numerous fauna – small mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles and insects. During the course of the year 65 species of birds make the Garden their home, either permanently or as a respite on their annual migrations.

Photo: d. king
Photo: d. king

It’s a must-see if you plan to visit Vancouver.

To find out more about CF please visit:

VanDusen website:

Plant Info: Tourism Vancouver

What MATTERS: Friends who have HEART

This photo was taken 3 days ago with my very dear friend Colleen.  

In a pet store with my dog Jia Jia & an adopted dog from Taiwan, Nina.
With my dog Jia Jia & Nina, an adopted dog from Taiwan at My Fluffy Friend’s pet store.

We’ve been friends for over 20 years and have gone on several adventures together; among them a swamp tour in the bayou where we got to hold a baby alligator, a birthday cruise where we met up with another friend and sailed from Miami to Cayman Islands and swam with countless Stingrays, a side trip from Jamaice to Havana where Colleen taught me how to light up a cigar (first & last time) and a nighttime pub crawl through the mossy tree lined streets of Savannah, Ga. while our guide related creepy scary story after story.  Colleen is an inspiration; she doesn’t take life for granted and she’s the first person to say “YES” to going somewhere and doing something fun.  She has no time for sweating the small stuff. Her family is amazing. The only time I don’t want to be around Colleen is when I’m feeling the slightest bit rundown. But there’s a reason for that.

Saturday at Pirate Joe's getting a bag of TJ goodies for the gala - silent auction table
Yesterday at Pirate Joe’s getting a bag full of TJ goodies for the silent auction table.

We first met 27 years ago, just before she left for London, England to undergo a heart & double lung transplant; a surgery that was not performed here in Canada at the time. She was celebrating her 27 year anniversary which was on October 22nd.  Colleen suffered a deadly disease called cystic fibrosis (commonly known as CF) and London was where her knighted surgeon, Sir Magi Yacoub (of Egyptian & English descent) was located. Along with her mother, Colleen waited there 2 months before receiving her transplant. Colleen always had a good heart but at that time the surgeon felt it better for the lungs to keep same heart attached so he gave her the heart and lungs as one unit. Colleen’s donor was British and Colleen’s good heart went to a Greek man who was so grateful he gave her a gold heart pendant and earrings as a thank you. Organ donors can give people a second chance at life. Colleen is one of only a few living heart donors. She has been back to visit both her surgeon and her heart recipient (he had two kids and lived 17 longer years) since.

Colleen is Canada’s longest surviving heart and double-lung recipient and many stories have been written about her.  At the time, she travelled to London with her best friend Brandy who also received a heart/double-lung transplant but her body rejected it and very sadly Brandy did not survive.  In a few more weeks from now Colleen will be celebrating her donor kidney replacement (from a different donor).  Some may think she’s taking advantage of too many celebrations but she has good reason to celebrate, don’t you think? 

 She posted on Facebook: it’s great to be alive and well.  I miss all my friends along the way that were not so fortunate, but have wonderful memories.  An auspicious and reflective day.

being a bit crazy at
Spooning at Tavola (on Robson) after a tiring long day.

And I have met many people since with this common, fatal genetic disease that affects mostly young adults and children. I met an incredibly strong natured young woman, a  beautiful red-haired actress Eva Markvoort  who tragically passed away after a long fight five years ago.   She chronicled her combat with CF via a daily blog which people from all over the world followed religiously, many whom had no connection to CF.

Eva Markvoort

It is because of  people like Eva and Colleen that I volunteer  every year by rounding up live and silent auction items for a fundraising event called “65 Roses” to help raise money towards  finding a cure for cystic fibrosis.  As it stands right now there is no cure.

CF is not as widely recognized as Cancer. While I know more people close to me who currently have cancer, or are in remission from it, or people who have died from having cancer, this along with the SPCA, is my charity of choice. We are starting to see some progress here.

So I thought I’d share with  you a little bit about CF and the fundraising event called 65 Roses – because I think it’s important to raise consciousness regarding this.

What is CF?

It is a multi-organ disease, primarily affecting the lungs and digestive system. Ultimately, most CF deaths are due to lung disease.  Each week in Canada two children are diagnosed with CF and one person dies from this life-shortening disease. In 2010, half the Canadians who died of cystic fibrosis were under 26 years old.

About one in every 25 Canadians carries a defective version of the gene responsible for CF, and currently there are more than 4,000 Canadians living with the disease. Many people are not even aware that they have this gene.   Here’s the thing; both parents must carry the gene in order for their child to get CF, and each time they conceive they have a 1 in 4 chance of getting a child with CF.  Carriers may pass on the gene without passing on the disease.  For instance, Colleen has a brother and sister and neither have CF, nor do their children.  Although Colleen’s mother lost a baby son and a teenage daughter to this terrible disease .

What is 65 ROSES?

The annual 65 Roses Gala is Cystic Fibrosis Canada Vancouver Chapter’s signature event, and I am excited to announce that this year marks the 15th ‘Crystal’ Anniversary of the gala.  This amazing event, Presented by B2Gold Corp, is set to take place on Saturday, November 7, 2015 at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel, and to honor this milestone anniversary we have some special surprises and exciting performances lined up which I’m sure everyone will love! Tax receipts will be issued for the charitable portion of each ticket.

Crystal Anniversary.....still some tickets available.
2015 Crystal Anniversary…..still some tickets available.  For tickets: 604.436.1158 or visit

Last year’s Gala was a great success! Over 300 guests gathered to enjoy an evening of fine dining, superb wines, delicious food, and danced the night away. Thanks to guests, sponsors, and donors, we collectively raised more than $400,000 for cystic fibrosis research and care, making this our most successful event to date.  There are still some tickets available.

About the RESEARCH

In 2015/2016, Cystic Fibrosis Canada will invest more than $7.7 million in innovative research and clinical care. Researchers are attacking cystic fibrosis on many fronts.  We know that this research is making a difference in the lives of those with cystic fibrosis because the median age for life expectancy of Canadians living with CF is now 50.9 years, the highest in the world! This research and care is largely funded by our fundraising efforts and events such as this one, and we cannot raise the money that we do without the help of our generous sponsors.

How can you HELP make a difference?

If you are interested in supporting CF by donating an item for auction or purchasing gala tickets,  please contact the Cystic Fibrosis Canada Western Region office at 604.436.1158  Not only will you receive a tax receipt for doing so, but it will make you feel good and *way more attractive too.

There have been great strides towards finding a cure for cystic fibrosis, but we know we can do more, and with your help we can fund critical research and care to help make CF stand for CURE FOUND. 

I’m delighted to do whatever I can to help support CF and it makes me feel good to do something for such a worthwhile cause.  Plus I’m looking forward to another FUN evening.  Because let’s face it, there always has to be some FUN involved. 

*FUN FACT: According to my friend Yanive, DONATING MAKES YOU 65 TIMES MORE ATTRACTIVE TO THE OPPOSITE SEX and adds 125% more goodness to your SOUL.


Documentary about Eva on CBC’s The Passionate Eye

Dance at every opportunity