“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair.”
Jack Layton

Canada has lost both a great man and profound leader. Jack Layton, not only triumphantly led his political party to become Canada’s Official Opposition but was an inspiration to fellow Canadian cancer patients through his unfaltering courage and drive to live.

After battling and victoriously overcoming his first bout of prostate cancer in 2009, he was viewed as a symbol of hope and optimism within our country. When diagnosed with a new form of cancer in July, the NDP leader decided to step down briefly ‘to fight this new cancer, so that he could be back in September to continue to fight for families when Parliament resumed.’

He left with the intent and conviction to win yet again.

Sadly, this time his battle was lost. He passed away early Monday morning in his home, surrounded by those closest to him.

In his hiatus speech on July 25, he expressed his gratitude for the numerous letters and e-mails he received from across the nation, “Your stories and support have touched me deeply and I have drawn strength and inspiration from them.”

In his final letter, Layton continued to lead, even in death, by instilling a positive outlook in the hearts of others who struggle with cancer on a daily basis.

“To other Canadians who are on journeys to defeat cancer and to live their lives, I say this: please don’t be discouraged that my own journey hasn’t gone as well as I had hoped. You must not lose your own hope. Treatments and therapies have never been better in the face of this disease. You have every reason to be optimistic, determined, and focused on the future. My only other advice is to cherish every moment with those you love at every stage of your journey, as I have done this summer.”

To read the complete farewell letter the honourable Jack Layton left behind for his beloved fellow Canadians please see the attached link: