Cancer patient meets Danica Patrick

JACKIE L. LARSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:14 PM ET

As the Edmonton Indy roared to life Sunday, Gerry Brook had something to cheer for.

The 56-year-old cancer patient met with Danica Patrick before the race.

Patrick had heard one of her most ardent fans was stricken with an aggressive esophageal cancer and took a break from the day’s swift pace to shake his hand and sign some memorabilia.

“You asked and I’m here,” she said, a smile lighting up hazel eyes. “Why not?”

“I admire your grit and your perseverance,” the Lethbridge realtor told her.

It was mutual, she assured him. “Well, you too,” she responded.

Patrick inquired about Brook’s treatment, and then surprised him with an offer. “I’ll pray for you ... I know lots of people that have been successful (in the battle against cancer),” she said.

Patrick said she was glad for the sunny weather.

“I hope I give you something to cheer for,” she said.

Back at the media centre, Brook smiled as he texted his daughter about the meeting with Patrick.

“I was very impressed by her presence. She was very calm and very professional. And very personable,” Brook said.

“We almost felt it was going to be an imposition to her day, but we didn’t get that feeling from her,” he said. “She took the time to talk with us ...”

Brook said he sees much in Patrick to emulate as he faces chemotherapy in a week for the cancer that has spread to his stomach and a lymph node.

Gerry and his wife Sheila, who will celebrate their 35th anniversary next month say their Christian faith has sustained them so far.

So what advice would he offer to others battling cancer?

“Stay strong and remain positive,” he said.

Brook said he plans to donate memorabilia signed by Patrick to a charity auction to raise funds for Harbour House women’s shelter in Lethbridge.

jackie.larson@sunmedia.ca


Videos

Photos