Lynda Robertson lost her battle with breast cancer, but her one-of-a-kind spirit lives on, inspiring others to raise funds for cancer patients.
“My daughter Lynda was a two-time cancer survivor,” Teri Dempster told the Thorold News.
“She was a truck driver for 40 years, and a very good friend of hers—Joanne MacKenzie Millan—started Trucking for a Cure,” an event that has helped fight breast cancer for the past decade.
“This year, my daughter died of cancer on April 24, so in remembrance of her, and in honour of her, this year they dedicated a plaque in her name.”
The Lynda Robertson Memorial Trucking for a Cure Achievement Award will be presented annually to the driver with the highest amount of funds raised during the event.
Each year, drivers decorate their trucks with pink, Dempster explained, adding proudly, “Lynda and I won the best ‘pinked-out’ truck” award.
“This is cancer month, and people have to understand that even if there’s a bad end, there is positivity. This year, my youngest daughter and I were blessed to present the first plaque to a woman driver who’s a cancer survivor. It started with just women drivers against breast cancer. Now, they turn out in the hundreds. Each transport driver pays to be in the convoy along Hwy. 401, and competes to raise funds. This year, the cause raised $100,000.”
Robertson, who died at age 63, was a long-haul trucker, said her mom.
“She was very well liked; well-thought of in her industry. Lynda hauled everything from steel to paper goods, from the time she started 40 years ago, and eventually owned her own transport. I got to go on many of those road trips with her. She was a real history buff; we were both interested in history,” and the pair frequently took time to visit historical sites along the way.
“Right up to the very last, she was very involved in her church,” stated Dempster, who still attends Trinity United Church in Thorold.
“She kept her sense of humour; vowed that she’d put up a brave front. She had a bunch of wigs—bright red” and other colours, which she wore after losing her hair. “I am very proud of my daughter for her attitude and her sense of humour.”
For a number of years, Robertson had been complaining about “horrible pains” in her back, her mom recalled.
“The doctors said bouncing in her truck created arthritis in her back. Finally, she said, ‘There’s a lump on me,’ and when she got it checked, it was phase four.”
Her daughter experienced an “incredibly aggressive cancer of the lymph nodes. It had metastasized to her bones. She went through a lot of chemo and radiation.”
A Thorold resident for the past eight years, Robertson left behind a son, Andrew Dalziel, and a grandson, Lucas Eymann.
“She loved her horses and her dogs,” said her mom. “Her dogs were her other children,” and would accompany her on the road.
Dempster, who had six children and has suffered the loss of three of them as a result of illness and accidents, offered the following advice:
“Cancers are being cured all the time, but they have to be caught. Lynda was not a pushy person. My advice is, you know how your body feels; push for that test. Make sure doctors listen, and if they don’t, get another doctor.”