Remembering our dad, Oly Baldonado

Jade Huete and her family lost their dad, Oly Baldonado, to lung cancer in July 2018. This father’s day, they share his story.

“Our dad, Oly Baldonado was a father of 8 kids, and a grandfather to 6. He was a family man with a huge heart and he always put others before himself. He was stubborn and intimidating, yet kind and very easy to love because of his magnetic personality. Witty and hilarious- our dad was always telling jokes. He was an honest man with so much wisdom and he instilled so many values and lessons in our family that will never be forgotten. Nothing meant more to him than his family- he always made sure we were taken care of. All he wanted of us was to be able to stand on our own two feet, take responsibility for our actions and live life to the fullest.

He was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer in August of 2015. It came as such a surprise to all of us. As many people would feel when they are told news like that, we were confused and scared. But our dad never showed signs of weakness or fear. Even though it’s inevitable to feel scared when you’re faced with a terminal illness, he always stayed so strong for our family. He never wanted us to worry and he always kept a positive attitude no matter what. Like our cousin, Jason said, “there were times where he was stronger than the disease”. The superhero of our family. His strength throughout his battle was admired by everyone.

His journey brought our family closer together. His battle was our battle, and we knew we were all in this together. We grew a special bond that was never there before. We learned true patience, love, sacrifice and selflessness. Values we believe every family should have.

We love our dad very much and miss him every single day. It’s still very surreal that he’s not with us because it still feels like he’s here. He’s left so many good memories behind that we will cherish forever. We’ll especially miss hanging out at his house, whether we were having good conversations, cracking jokes, or just hung out in silence as he rested. His presence will be missed forever. He had a special, unconditional love for his grandchildren, and the look on his face, whenever they were around, will definitely be missed.

We’re glad to share his story this Father’s Day as it is the first fathers day we will be celebrating without him. He was such a special man, and it’s an honour to write about him and put time aside to really think about him and miss him. It’s healthy for us. Because life is busy and it continues on, but he will still stay in our hearts forever.

To those who have lost a parent to cancer, all we can say is to be strong and keep good faith. As hard as it may be for us, it’s relieving to know that our dad is no longer suffering. Keep them in your hearts and always remember them. Reminisce on the good times and cherish your memories. And be grateful for the life you have now, with the loved ones who are with you. Time is so precious. It passes and it can never be given back. Time is such a blessing! So live and love fully. Be happy and make others happy on this journey we call life.

We are proud to run our Lift-Away Lung Cancer charity events in honour and memory of our father. We will be throwing another one this summer! If he was still here, he would be so proud, as he always was of all his family. He would be grateful for the love from our community.”

– Jade Huete & Family

Jade and her family continue to raise awareness and fundraise for other Albertans affected by lung cancer. They have raised over $5000 in support of the Alberta Lung Cancer Screening Program, a research study at the University of Calgary. This study, funded by the Alberta Cancer Foundation, is being conducted across Alberta to find out how to best screen and detect lung cancer at early stages.

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