I have been spending the better part of this weekend at the Skate Canada Annual general meeting in Toronto promoting my book and generally hanging around.

It has been a great chance to see old friends and make some new ones and along the way get the chance to unearth some very interesting stories.

Take Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir who were on hand as part of the athletes’ delegation. In a video created for this event, we got the chance to re-live the tail end of their Olympic Free dance and Scott can be seen saying “thank you very much” as he cradled Tessa in the closing moments of their final pose. I asked him last night who he was thanking he said: “I was thanking Tessa and the “Big Guy” upstairs.” So like Scott; to be unassuming, grateful and cognisant of the fact that although it was ‘his” moment, he didn’t get there alone.

I also had the chance to have a chat with one of two women who run a company called Carrot Creative – an event company that comes up with themes and decor for corporate events. Tracy and Annette are business partners and are great fun to be around, and in a slow moment, I spoke with Annette about the red streak she had in her hair and whether it was a dye job or hair clip. She filled me in on the story. Her 26 year old niece, Eva Markvoort, passed away in March of cystic fibrosis. She had had a double lung transplant about two years ago and had started to suffer organ rejection about six months ago. She was on the list for new lungs but time ran out.

Annette told me about the sparkling presence of this young woman and about the many projects in which she was involved in her too short life. If you get the chance, go to 65redroses.livejournal.com and you can read about Eva’s thoughts on living with cystic fibrosis or google Eva Markvoort. She talks about dying her hair red so that she will never “be lost in the shadows.”

After she died, Annette and her daughters attended a “life celebration” in Vancouver for Eva and they were all dressed in red. Annette and her girls were resplendent in red wigs, red tutus and red bodysuits in honour of Eva. It was a powerful and moving tribute to this young woman to have the celebration attended by 1,200 people.

You get the sense of the gratitude that Eva inspired in other people. Gratitude for the time that she had, the gratitude that was felt by all who knew her and the gratitude that she felt if even one person checked out her website and made the decision to consider organ donation.

In both stories, a subtle reminder that we need to try and remember “it’s not all about me.”