Lynn Manwar – WOMAN of ACTION™

 

A Celebration of Women™

is elated to Celebrate the Life of this powerhouse of strength, rising above a multitude of life challenges; including a period of estrangement from her own father, a man she loves dearly, arthritis, thyroid cancer and many other challenges.  Her message to the women of our world is that life offers many experiences, and one can rise above it all through the sheer power of  ‘unconditional love’.  

This power of example is now here to help the Women of our World, and we welcome her with open arms and warm hearts!

 

WOMAN of ACTION™

 

 

Lynn Manwar 

 

My name is Lynn Manwar. I am Canadian and a graduate of York University in Toronto, Canada. I am an entrepreneur, sales professional and writer.

Born in multicultural Toronto, Canada, with a Trinidadian mother of Indian descent and a Canadian father of German/English descent, Lynn Manwar is the perfect example of a new age woman of substance!

Cross-cultural woman, Lynn Manwar is known as the “Networking Queen”.

Her interest in the environment led her to complete a Bachelor in Environmental Studies education at York University in Toronto, Canada. Upon university graduation, she went to Nagano, Japan through the JET Programme and taught English to high school students and Olympic Volunteers during 1997 to 1998.

Lynn has been featured in media such as Metro, Anokhi Magazine, Desi News, Eye Weekly, The Bulletin, thatchannel.com, Suhaag.com, Masalamommas.com and Good News Toronto. She was as a makeover candidate on “Style by Jury” on W Network in Canada in 2007. She is a contributing author to “Making it in High Heels 2: For Leaders and Role Models”(2009) by Burman Books.

Her passions include film, art, architecture, international cuisine and spirituality. She has traveled extensively and visited Australia, China, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Palestine, South Korea, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates and USA.

She has been a teacher, recruiter, volunteer coordinator, job developer, program coordinator and entrepreneur. Her career has evolved to becoming an internet marketer with the intent to get her messages across to the world. Her life is about people and making a difference in their lives.

I have created this website “Wellness Detective” to provide resources to help people with health challenges find wellness solutions.

Unconditional love–what is it? My definition is whereby you give love with a complete open heart and not expecting anything in return. Our first experience of unconditional love is usually from our mothers. I’ve experienced that feeling of powerful of unconditional love from certain friends. Actually in May of this year, I met an old long time friend after 6 years and we reconnected at her family home in Markham. It just brought me back to the good old days. She made me waffles, we had tea and wonderful bonding time. I met her 2 kids for the first time as well which was so heartwarming! Upon my departure from our reunion, she sent me home with a food care package.

The power of unconditional love can move mountains and nourish souls. I have been blessed to receive such great love from family and friends. During my time of recovery from cancer, many individuals have provided such nurturing and it was exactly what I needed.

We would spend quality time, doing things at home, cooking, watching movies, and basically hanging out. Time would pass and it would be so beautiful. I remember those good old days.

Take time today to love unconditionally, the rewards come back ten fold!


 
It was an early morning on December 20th, 2011, when Lynn Manwar had a meeting with her doctor and had been given the diagnosis that she had breast cancer. That cancer was in the form of a malignant tumour on her right breast.

Having already been diagnosed with thyroid cancer at age 24, Lynn had been down this road before. Only this time it was different. She had learned shortly after her diagnosis that having breast cancer would mean her fertility would be at risk.
 
 

“On Christmas Day, I decided to spend the day with myself, I went to Church, prayed and cried for a bit,” said Manwar. “I realized that tears would only take me so far. I made a decision on December 25th, 2011 to get all the support I can for fertility preservation and keep my dream of having a family alive. ”

With a strong will to remove her cancer as an obstacle to having a baby of her own, Lynn went to a fertility clinic shortly after her holidays and was informed of her options. With her mother by her side in full support, she decided to pursue fertility preservation. After spending an entire day at the clinic, she was then told that she would need to come to the clinic the next day for a blood test and an ultrasound. Her fertility treatment lasted for two weeks and included visits to the clinic on weekends.

“Chemotherapy affects fertility so many cancer patients opt to go through fertility preservation,” said Manwar.

I made a decision on the spot to move forward with fertility preservation and it was one of the most difficult days of my life.”

Lynn isn’t alone in the stress of living with a cancer diagnosis as a mom-to-be. Each year, an estimated 10,000 young Canadians, aged 20-44, face a cancer diagnosis. Approximately 80% survive (statistics via Fertile Future Canada). Without knowing the importance of fertility preservation prior to their treatment, many are left infertile with few options.

Lynn’s research from a binder of information for newly diagnosed cancer patients led her to an organization called Fertile Future, a group that aspires to change the reality for cancer patients. The organization aims to inform, educate and support cancer patients who are facing fertility-risking medical treatment and oncology professionals who are providing this care. Through its ‘Power of Hope’ Lynn was able to get financial assistance toward the cost of fertility preservation.

Female cancer patients who qualify for the Power of Hope Program receive; compassionate pharmaceutical product, reduced clinic fees of at least 33% for egg retrieval and egg or embryo cryo-preservation and a reimbursement of up to $1000.00. Male cancer patients that qualify for the program are entitled to a reimbursement for sperm cryo-preservation of up to $350.00.

“I had filled out the application for Power of Hope program on Christmas Day 2011 as one step towards getting support for my fertility preservation. After I went through the fertility preservation and egg retrieval procedure, I felt relieved and at the same time, that I had something bigger to live for. I was extremely delighted when I received a cheque in the mail from Fertile Future and became a recipient of the Power of Hope Program.”

Since then she’s been through rounds of chemo, ups and downs and says through it all being a South Asian mom-to-be with fertility as an issue, isn’t always easy.

“The South Asian culture is deeply rooted in family values and bearing children is just one of those expected duties that a women must fulfill in her lifetime,” said Manwar. “Both immediate and extended family members look forward to welcoming children into the family.”


A bigger issue for many women in the South Asian community is the decision to have a child on their own with out being married.

“I have always wanted to become a mother and experience the joy of pregnancy ever since I was a little girl. I recently had down 3 down days of body pain after my 4th chemotherapy treatment. I have used social media as one of means of garnering community support and inspiration, when I temporarily lose faith or hope.

My belief in the higher power above (God) gets me through the tough times. My mother has also been a pillar of strength as she has a strong faith in God and is an excellent caretaker.”

She says coming to terms with her diagnosis and how it might impact her fertility wasn’t immediate.
 
 

“The diagnosis was initially a shock as it came very unexpectedly. I was first diagnosed with thyroid cancer at age 24, so cancer has been part of my journey already, but this time it was different. Learning that treatments for breast cancer may put a woman in her 30s into early menopause and affect her fertility was difficult to digest.”

She says Fertile Future has given her an opportunity she never thought she would have.

Throughout her ordeal, Manwar says she’s learned a lot about the medical community and has also learned to empower herself with knowledge as a single woman trying to overcome such life-changing obstacles in order to conceive.

“Sharing my diagnosis on social media networks, enabled me to connect with other breast cancer survivors who informed me about the risks of cancer treatment to fertility. The medical community is sometimes too focused on treating the patients, other issues like fertility fall to the way side and is often forgotten about. The biggest misconception is that a woman who is undergoing cancer treatment can’t have children after and that is not true.

A woman has the options of:

1) natural pregnancy
2) invitro fertilization using harvested eggs (which is still experimental) and a partner’s sperm or using a donor egg and a partner’s sperm or donor sperm (if required)
3) Using a surrogate mother to carry the pregnancy
4) Local or international adoption
5) Foster parenting

After her ordeal, Lynn says she’s a believer of miracles as well.

So what advice does she have for other moms-to-be facing a medical challenge that prevents them from conceiving?

“My best advice to any woman diagnosed with cancer and who have completed treatment, is to visualize an end in mind, have faith in the power above and never give up on your dreams,” said Manwar. “I beat cancer once and visualization helped me achieved what seemed impossible at the time. Miracles are possible, just begin to believe and the let the universe deliver it to you, in divine time.”

During this journey of recovery from a cancer diagnosis, I have been the recipient of random acts of kindness and it’s been totally amazing to say the least!

I had decided from the day 1 to share my news through Facebook status updates, videos and photos.

I have had friends and Facebook friends, visit and bring food, and other treats to my home. I’ve received care packages from Facebook friends I’ve never met, tea in the mail and gifts of tea in my seat while at the Oprah Life Class on April 16th, 2012. I’ve been taken out and treated to lunch on several occasions.

Friends, have brought over both lunch and dinner for myself and the entire family.

 
A Daughter always loves her Father …

My father has been buying me jewellery ever since I was a little girl. I received a pearl necklace at age 10, rose quartz beads when I was 15 and a stunning long strand of amber beads upon high school graduation. I loved some pieces and grew to love the others like the amber beads over the years. At a young age, I did not understand the value and significant beauty of some beads. However, this changed as I grew older.

For most daughters, the father plays a very important role in her life. Lynn was no different and was very close to her father while growing up. But having been born to unwed parents, Lynn never had the opportunity to embrace this relationship publicly. Until recently.

Her father is George Hamann, well-known Canadian architect and co-founder of Bregman and Hamann architects, now known as B & H Architects. “I hadn’t seen my father since 2007 and I did not have his telephone number or address. It was my desire to see my father one last time before he passes on, as he gave me life and helped me become the woman I am today,” says an emotional Lynn.

Lynn used her networking prowess (known as the networking queen amongst the circle of friends, with about 4,500 contacts on FaceBook) in her quest to meet her father.

“In October last year, I met Justin Dixon, a Real Estate Broker of The Property Boutique whose way of being so reminded me of my father.

Coincidentally, a week after meeting Justin, I received both my father’s telephone number and his residential address,” explains Lynn. This may read like a fairy tale with a “happy-ending”, but it is true that six weeks later, on December 11th, 2011, upon request, Justin Dixon kindly drove Lynn to Newmarket, to see her father.

With joy, Lynn reveals, “It was a very special reunion and I savored every moment. My father has a bit of dementia, but he talked with us and told us stories. We then took some photos and he hugged us both, when we left his home”.

“My mission to see my father one last time was accomplished, and I am a very happy woman!”

 

 
MORE ABOUT LYNN

I was published in “Making it in High Heels 2” by Burman Books in 2009 as a contributing author.

I am the daughter out of wedlock of the well known architect, George Hamann, co-founder of Bregman & Hamann architects, now called B & H Architects.

I have overcome thyroid cancer at age 24, arthritis at age 30 and breast cancer at age 39.

I have recently undergone fertility preservation before cancer treatment to keep my dream of being a mother alive!

My blogs include:

Developed:
http://wellnessdetective.com

In development:
http:lynnmanwar.com

 

 

A Celebration of Women™

welcomes this trail blazing, powerhouse into our Alumni of WOMEN of ACTION™, with pure Joy !!!

 

 

Brava Lynn!

 

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