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They say there’s no such thing as an original idea.

The name for this blog was something I stole from my oldest brother many years ago. He was using it as an online name long before I ever started my first blog back in high school. As years pass, I stick with One Deep Breath because it reminds me to take each moment in stride, to live fully present and to let my roots grow deep.

For my brother, one deep breath has a more literal meaning. He is living one breath at a time while he awaits his double lung transplant.

He is living. He is not merely waiting.

This weekend he’s participating in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (the 5km portion) with his best friend and a few of our family members.

There was a period of time in my teen years when I used to wonder how to separate myself from his remarkable story. Everyone who knows him knows the journey he’s been through and how his faith in God has been his rock through periods of sickness and health. Everyone who meets him is charmed by his charisma, passion and humour. So many of the things I love – camping, kayaking, swimming, hockey, guitar – he modelled for me first.

For awhile, I didn’t know how to tell my own story without telling his. But none of us can tell our story without telling the story of our family. We come from roots entwined, from the same beginnings. Our stories overlap.

From my first memories of Rob’s illness to this day, he has inspired me to live with hope. And now as he preps for his 5km, he takes inspiration from another CF survivor who has raced with an oxygen tank, and he sparks that same hope for others.

See a small part of his story here on CTV, here on CBC and here in the Toronto Star. And register to be an organ donor at

“While I breath, I hope.”

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