Becca found 'clarity, meaning, and purpose' during cancer battle, father says
Becca Schofield died of brain cancer in Moncton on Feb. 17, 2018, at the age of 18.
THE CANADIAN PRESS
Published Tuesday, February 20, 2018 12:37PM AST
Last Updated Wednesday, February 21, 2018 8:21AM AST
RIVERVIEW, N.B. -- Rebecca Schofield's father has written a touching tribute to the young woman who inspired acts of kindness around the globe, as he and his family prepare to say their final farewell.
"I mourn for you Becca, for all the pain you experienced during your too short life. For all your lost dreams. For the many, many things you wanted to do but will never have the chance to do. And I also mourn for us, for the hole in our lives now that can never be filled," Darren Schofield said in a Facebook post Tuesday morning.
"But I rejoice at the honour I feel at having been a witness to your truly exceptional life. To your strength. Your sense of humour. Your exuberant enthusiasm. Your generous and kind heart. Your boundless love. Your beauty. Your bright, shining spirit."
Schofield died of brain cancer in Moncton on Saturday evening at the age of 18.
The Riverview, N.B., teenager penned a bucket list in December 2016 after learning her years-long battle with brain cancer had taken a turn for the worse, with doctors giving her only months to live.
She asked her thousands of Facebook followers to perform random acts of kindness and posting them online under the hashtag .BeccaToldMeTo. Her request soon went viral, with people as far away as Australia posting their good deeds to social media.
"She was fortunate enough to find clarity, meaning, and purpose during her prolonged journey with brain cancer," Darren Schofield wrote in his tribute Tuesday.
"How amazing it is to have had a child that has truly reached out and touched the world around us."
He wrote about attending a Moncton concert on Jan. 19 by Port Cities, one of her favourite bands, and how she broke down in tears knowing it might her last outing.
A ecumenical celebration of Schofield's life is set to be held at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Riverview on Wednesday, with overflow seating in the church hall, according to an obituary posted on the Cobb's Funeral Home website.
Her family was to receive relatives and friends Tuesday afternoon and evening at St. Paul's United Church in Riverview.
Schofield was also recognized following a meeting of federal ministers and provincial premiers Tuesday in Moncton.
Condolences were offered to her family by federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor and New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant.
"We've lost really a bright star in our community over the weekend," said Petitpas Taylor, who is the MP for the riding of Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe.
Gallant said there had been a moment of silence for Rebecca prior to the meeting.
"It was the least we could do for somebody that has had such an impact on so many people's lives," said Gallant.
The premier said his executive assistant told him that she had been given a free coffee at a local restaurant in a Becca-inspired act of kindness.
"The person who worked at the restaurant said Becca told me to," he said. "So her legacy will continue to affect many people's lives in a very positive way."
Hundreds of members of a Facebook group dedicated to her .BeccaToldMeTo movement said they were turning on their porch lights Sunday evening in her honour, in places like California, Texas, Florida and across Canada.
People post good deeds to Schofield's Facebook page on a daily basis, celebrating acts ranging from holding the door open for someone to sending a box of bath items to Canadian soldiers in Kuwait.
The New Brunswick government declared the third Saturday of September "Becca Schofield Day," and kicked off the inaugural event in 2017.