photo submitted by Amber-Lea Marie Christine and Graham Weatherby

‘Purple angels’ rally to help Qualicum Beach man who has brain cancer

Community helps keep health and beauty shop operating

  • Aug. 16, 2019 6:35 p.m.

By Amber-Lea Marie

Inspired by the belief of what it means to live a pure and simple life, Christine and Graham Weatherby cultivated their dream of Purple Essentials.

The name of the Qualicum Beach health and beauty shop is derived from the first three letters of (pur)e and the last three letters of sim(ple); and thus the word purple has been reborn with a meaning far greater than just the colour.

Since settling in Qualicum Beach by way of Kingston, Ont. in 2016, friends say it has become obvious that the Weatherbys live to give. And now, it is the community’s turn to give back.

On July 18 came the devastating discovery that Graham was diagnosed with brain cancer – glioblastoma multiforme, grade 4. If this sounds familiar, that’s because it is. The diagnosis is the same given to Tragically Hip lead singer Gord Downie.

A GoFundMe page set-up by D.J. Levy has surpassed $28,000. Close friends Joanna McNeil, Cheryl Clarke, Trish Marrion and Holly Yates are among those helping to keep the store operating.

“They’re best friends. They’re lovers. And they’re business partners. They’re just seemingly on the same page about everything,” the friends said in a joint statement. “They’re pillars of support for each other – they just really complement one another.”

Christine said the support has been overwhelming and said people near and far have become “our purple angels.”

“It’s indescribable how much the generosity of people we don’t even know has touched our lives,” she said.

She saidit’s only through the kindness of others that medication and accommodation expenses will be covered for Graham during his treatment journey, scheduled to begin in Victoria’s on Tuesday, Aug. 20. The GoFundMe campaign’s goal is to reach $100,000.

“Every day is lived with gratitude. Even through the darkest times, we are grateful for our life together,” Christine said.

To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/f/love-and-support-for-graham-and-christine.

To read an expanded version of this article, click here.

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