Skip to main content

My Journey to a Meeting with a Warrior

I first met her few years back when she was new to Canada. At that time she was looking for a place to rent and my job at that time involved helping newcomers to Toronto to find accommodation. I do not remember if she got the place thanks to my help, but what I do remember is that we have been friends ever since. We have so many things in common. The books we read, the movies we watched, the music we listened to, the food we liked (not in terms of quantity lol) even Basketball and Tennis.

Years went by and we kept in touch. She would share with me her life story, sometimes asking for my advice, and I would do the same.

About two and half years ago, she started saying that she was not feeling good. Countless times she went to different doctors but they could not find what was wrong with her. What she knew was that she was in pain. It started with her legs, then it got so bad that she could not move from her house. And then one day, they finally found it. Guess what? She had cancer.... I will never forget the day she told me the news. I was devastated. Surprisingly, she was not. She just said to me: “I am sharing the news with only close friends, but I want to let you know that I will be ok. I know I won't die”. I was shocked by her attitude and I admired her for that.

So, the treatment started. It was nothing she had ever seen or experienced before. It was so painful and they told her the treatment would last at least two years. I went to visit her a couple of times at the hospital. She was hanging in there. She even went home after a few weeks. She thought it was over, but the worst was yet to come. She went back to the hospital and this time, it was really, really hard. She was in a coma for a number of days; she lost all of her faculties that even doctors were fearing the worse.

I left for Africa for four months and I did not hear from her, or from any of her other friends. I was praying that, by the time I returned to Toronto, I would find her doing ok. I also heard from one of her friends that she even lost her memory. She did not remember anything, even the people who came to visit her at the hospital. It was really very sad.

A few weeks after I came back to Toronto, I received a message on Facebook from a name that I did not recognize saying “I thought we were friends. Did you forget about me?” I did not pay much attention to the message. But days later, I came back to the message and I finally realized the message was from my friend. She had changed her name on Facebook. That's why I did not recognize her the first time. Oh my God. I couldn't believe it! She was finally doing fine. She even told me about books that she wanted to read. My friend was back to life.

Two weeks ago, my wife and I went to visit her. We thought it would be for a couple of hours. Guess what! We got home after midnight. She shared with us her story, how she had to fight alone while her close friends abandoned her and how before her sickness she was so mad at God. Things have changed and today she is constantly praying and giving thanks to God for the work he has done in her life. She is not 100% yet. But she is looking forward to the future. She is about to finish her treatment, and she cannot wait to get out there and help those who are going through what she went through.

Her name is Gentille Umutoni Byusa, and she is a true warrior.

With lots of love, this is for you Gentille.

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman


Popular posts from this blog

My Journey to a Press Conference

What a game 7 for the Raptors!! Kahwi shot was out of this world. I am still in shock. But, let me talk about a game that happened a while back. Game 5. As game 5 against the Philadelphia 76ers and our beloved Raptors ended with a huge victory from the local team, we headed down to the press conference location. The media people were lining up in front of the elevator and the length of the line was one of those I had never seen. We had to wait for the elevator to go down and back up at least three times before we could get in. By the time we finally got in the elevator, the TV monitor inside the elevator was showing Serge Ibaka’ s press conference. Shoot, we were running late. We finally got down, and as we were rushing to the conference room, I bumped into Toronto FC soccer superstar Jozy Altidore. He said hi to me and I said hi back. It was surreal. Then, in front of me, I saw this huge guy with tattoos all over his body. I didn’t know who he was, but he caught my

My Journey to a Great Meeting

Imagine you go for a meeting and you find yourself in the presence of a group of people including an author whose book will very soon be in the hands of one million people, a web guru who is helping thousands of people to market their businesses online, a marketing genius whose business portfolio is about to reach ten million dollars, a black belt Karate instructor who is talking about another couple of properties he just acquired and who is an expert in financial fitness, a guy who is making tons of network connections in a heart beat and a sales expert who, by the end of this year would have delivered over 80 keynote speeches and presentations to sales executives. Wouldn't it be nice? Guess what? I have been part of such a group of people for the last five months . Every Sunday afternoon, this mastermind group meets for about one hour and half to talk about our goals and how we can help each other achieve them. This group is called GoalAchievers International founded by a great

My Journey with Fidèle

It has been quite a few busy weeks that involved a round trip to Ottawa on Saturday and preaching during a Sunday church service (yes, I was surprised too when I was asked to do it). All this time I was thinking about what I would be writing about on this week’s blog. I had a vague idea, but I did not know how to formulate it. That was until I received a message on Facebook from a friend asking me to speak at an upcoming event in January. The topic of my presentation would be “The Moment that Defined Your Life”. The person who sent me the invitation did not know that I had been thinking about the same topic days prior to her message. It all started when I was at a Toronto Raptors game. I have been reporting on the games for almost two months now, but I am still in awe every time I am at the arena. I can’t believe this is happening to me. I have been in rooms with childhood idols, biggest stars of the game, coaches, reporters, you name it. And every time I am saying “wow”. Th