Jackie Morra is a popular lifestyle and garden expert whose passion for being outdoors started as a child growing up in South America helping her mom in the garden.
Today, she loves to give back to her community by using her talents to help others, but everything came to a halt in 2014 when she found out she had breast cancer.
“I needed a full mastectomy, and that was the big change for me,” Morra said.
A big part of coping through the life-changing event for Morra was gardening.
“The analogy of pruning things away, it’s hard because you’re cutting off a big branch or you’re cutting a part of the flower or the plant itself and it is not going to look the same,” she said.
“But it’s necessary because it will then regrow better, fuller, bigger.”
Her backyard space had become her sanctuary, but late last year everything changed once again.
“I never felt right with the implant, and I didn’t have many illnesses or issues with it until last December,” Morra recalled.
“There was heart palpitations and long story short, I ended up in emergency.”
Morra went through a series of tests and was told the issue was not with her heart, but with the implant.
“Coincidentally, I had the implant that was recalled, and now is being recalled worldwide,” she said.
“This year in June I completely removed the implant and went flat. Now I am just wearing a prosthetic and I feel like myself again.”
As Morra recovers from surgery, the garden is truly her happy place. She also inspires others to create their own backyard oasis through “Planting Inspiration“, a website, Facebook page, and YouTube channel.
Connecting with other breast cancer survivors is important to Morra.
This summer, she donated her time creating a special quiet space at Wellspring, a support centre for people living with cancer and those who care for them.
“We are very grateful for Jackie’s generosity and that’s what Wellspring tends to do for folks,” said Christina Smith the CEO of Wellspring Canada.
“They want to give back to the community that helped them heal.”
“My garden has taught me so many lessons about the cycle of life,” Morra said.
“To come out in the spring where everything is emerging — the epiphanies and the parallels to life I see so clearly now.”