In Her Own Words: Meet Cathy, 2015/2016 OMP Recipient

To put oneself before a panel of strangers asking them to help you change your life COMPLETELY is terrifying. To me, it was an admission that for all I’ve done to ensure my children’s lives were infinitely better than mine had been, the price I paid was too much for me to bear on my own. But, I also knew that after 22 years of putting everyone else first, it was time.

My greatest discomforts with this process were:
1) asking for something for ME, and
2) putting myself on public display as a wildly imperfect, overweight, out of shape, and overwhelmed person – essentially the hottest mess in Ottawa!

Taking the pictures was so uncomfortable, but I knew if I didn’t act quickly (albeit in the final hours before the deadline), then I would chicken out again. So, I dove in and did it.

I spent hours crafting my message on paper and finally just spoke from my heart. Speaking for the first two minutes and fifty seconds was not so bad. It was the final few seconds where my heart and emotions ran wild – asking for the makeover so I could be ‘the best version of me’ as I walk my daughter down the aisle next May – was the reason I needed TEN tries to get the video right.

Learning that I’d been selected almost made me faint because I was so genuinely shocked. In a quiet moment later with my daughter, Rebecca, I told her that it was the same shock value, (though in this case 100% awesome) as when I first saw my son, Austin in CHEO’s emergency department, after being hit by a car in 2006!

When I saw his beautiful face smashed and bruised, I feared he would die and knew I needed to be at his side. That was the longest 10-steps I’ve taken in my life! (Fear not, Austin is a walking talking miracle – CHEO for four days and a full recovery in 6 months beyond losing two front teeth which we are working on replacing.)

Beyond shock, was soul-deep delight, heartfelt euphoria and gratitude beyond words. Learning that I was unanimously chosen for being so authentic and genuine and having a clear goal in mind (my daughter’s wedding) was most humbling. Dr. Andrea Stevens may not wear a cape, but to me, she is a superhero. That she has assembled an incredible group of heroes who have all stepped up to change my life means more to me than I have room to express in this blog!

Don’t get me wrong, the next 6 months will require a monumental commitment from me, but I do so willingly. I am motivated, committed and passionate about being a fiercely active participant in the journey to Cathy Whitney 2.0!!


Follow Cathy’s journey on Facebook and Twitter: @OMakeover and @cathysmakeover