Belinda (Bee) Weihen – a very special person
There are some people in life who make you laugh a little louder, smile a little brighter and live life just a little bit better - and for many in the NF community, Belinda was one of those inspirational people.
In 2015, Belinda received a full body scan to provide a baseline for her NF status. What should have been a routine scan, resulted in a devastating diagnosis of bowel cancer. Belinda went through numerous operations, chemotherapy and radiation…but it is not her medical battle that we want to highlight today. We want to acknowledge Belinda, not just for her tremendous fight against cancer, but to share the impact she made on an entire community. We want to share her inspiring story of strength, courage and determination to live life on her terms.
Too often we are distracted or stressed by the mundane tasks in life. It is bitter sweet to know that Belinda and her battle with NF, taught us what it is to really live and to really appreciate the time you have been given on this Earth. Belinda didn’t like the term ‘terminal’ but the reality was, stage 4 cancer cannot be cured. So Belinda set herself a goal to experience as much quality and joy in her life as possible, and that she did. Belinda wrote a Bucket list and Cancer journey blog that many in our NF community followed. In her desire to depict the reality of fighting cancer, she taught us not only what it is to know pain, defeat, suffering and struggle with loss, but to also see the good in everything. It was important for Belinda to have a positive mindset and whilst she could not control her diagnosis, she could control how she reacted to it. She taught those around her to have an appreciation, a positive outlook and a true understanding for life.
Many of those who met Belinda would find themselves wishing to be more like her; to be that brave, to see life the way she did and to make the most of every precious moment. Belinda was quite simply an inspiration. According to Belinda, “not every day is sunshine and rainbows, fighting cancer is hard”. We watched as Belinda lost her hair, underwent surgeries, lost weight and became more symptomatic of her cancer. We witnessed it push her to her limits and eventually, take her life …but we also saw her undeniable strength. We admired her positivity and how she radiated love for every person and animal she ever met. We could see that no matter what life threw at her, she never lost her smile, she never gave up and she was determined to live her best life possible.
Belinda ticked off so many of her dreams from her bucket list, from sky diving in Hawaii, to getting a tattoo and meeting her idol Dita Von Teese…but the true reflection of her character, and what makes her an inspiration to all of us at CTF, was her goal to be the “highest fundraiser for Cupid’s Undie Run”. Belinda successfully achieved this title nationally by raising over $27,000 in 2016. Despite her diagnosis, her treatments and feeling sick, Belinda was determined to make a difference for other people. In a time where she could have been selfish, she used her life and her experience to make the lives of those around her better.
In between treatments and surgeries, she volunteered at the CTF head office, helping to drive Cupid’s and improve awareness about Neurofibromatosis. 2018 was her 4th Cupid’s Undie Run and she led the race, being pushed in her wheelchair by fiancé Daniel, with a smile that lit up the room. Again, Belinda was the highest fundraiser for Sydney.
She made sure that the community knew to NEVER let a diagnosis define you! Belinda’s dignified humility in the face of adversity was a lesson to us all.
Belinda received the 2016 Inspirational Fundraiser of the Year award for CTF and the reality is, if we could reward her and honour her every single day, we would.
Belinda was a rare combination of light, humour, grace and strength. She was kind, she was hilarious and she was a friend to many. Belinda knew how to live, she knew real happiness and thanks to Daniel, her soul mate, she knew real love. Belinda achieved more in a few short years, than most people do in their entire life span. There is no doubt that Belinda was special and we want to acknowledge Belinda and thank her for filling our hearts with love, for inspiring us to be better and for the difference she made in our mission to conquer NF.
Cupid’s Undie Run 2019 will be dedicated to Belinda - she was Cupid’s biggest supporter and we will remain her biggest fans.
- The CTF Team, with love and fond memories