Last April at Hot Docs I was deeply moved by the story of Vancouver’s Eva Markvoort, in the film 65_Red Roses.
Eva is a 25 year old girl who has been battling Cystic Fibrosis her entire life. The film, which has since aired on CBC’s Passionate Eye, follows Eva’s journey as she anxiously awaits a lung transplant. 65_RedRoses is the name she uses in an online community, where fellow young women also afflicted with the disease connect, share stories and form friendships. The documentary takes us right into the operating room where Eva undergoes the dangerous surgery and as the film continues we watch her frail body regain strength with absolute determination. Eventually, Eva returns to being an active young woman who is able to attend school and partake in activity – her first choice being to join a Dragon Boat league for transplant survivors. (She also dyes her hair a really cool red colour and wears the best vintage clothes).
In recent months, Eva’s body began to reject the transplant and she found herself back in the hospital. Through her blog, we were able to follow her story and be continually inspired by her fearless personality and absolute positive radiance. A couple days ago, Eva posted a video – a final goodbye to all of those who have followed her over the years – be it close friends, family or strangers like us. She knows that she only has days to live but even in her final goodbye, she talks about all the love in her life, still maintains an incredibly positive outlook which is sincerely communicated with a gorgeous smile. The video pans to a wall full of letters from Canadians coast to coast sharing their sentiments of her brave and inspirational journey.
Eva, I do not know you personally – but you have touched me dearly. You are the best kind of friend and sister anyone could ever want and you have a kind of courage I can only dream of. You are beautiful from the inside and out – a gift to humanity and I admire you as much as one could admire someone. The love you have shared on earth has created an immeasurable impact that will continue to grow. Your life has been cut short – but my God did you live it well.
Eva – you are the strongest young woman we know and we thank you for all you have given in your time. Our thoughts are with you and your family- we will never forget you.
Love all of us at Shedoesthecity.
See Eva’s blog here: http://65redroses.livejournal.com/