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Four Years Younger

Posted in BC Votes 2009 Campaign Bytes Posted by CBC News on April 24, 2009 05:22 PM |

Campaign BytesNatalie ClancyCarole James was with her "peeps" at the Fairmont Waterfront hotel Friday. A Health Science Association conference and a ballroom full of unionized health workers who vote NDP. I sat down expecting to hear her rip into Campbell about tearing up contracts. But before she did that she surprised me. She stepped out of her comfort zone to speak about her own brush with cancer two years ago. James was diagnosed with uterine endometrial cancer in July of 2006. She stepped outside the shell of a political leader and gave us a glimpse of the private Carole, telling a room full of lab technicians, physiotherapists and other health workers that “I’ve been there, getting blood tests, in the MRI, at the cancer clinic…. and you were with me the whole way and I will never forget that. And there are thousands like me in every corner of the province so I wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

She was so sincere and everyone in the audience realized she’s just like the rest of us. Then she put her leader hat back on and began to dissect the Campbell liberals and all that she says is wrong with his government. After the speech I asked the lab techs next to me what they thought of it. “Wow” was their answer. And then I thought about how healthy Carole looks these days. She is now cancer free. Those close to her tell me she’s exercising like crazy and eats really well. She’s definitely trimmer compared to the 2005 campaign, which can’t be said for Gordon Campbell – who spent the last campaign preaching about veggies and exercise – then he’d stand us up when a few of us reporters would schedule an early morning run on the campaign trail. As I look at Carole now she looks younger and leaner than the last time I travelled on her campaign bus… while I just look older and fatter in the last 4 years. She’s sitting two seats up on the plane to Cranbrook.
I’ll ask her what her secret is when we land and get back to you.

Natalie Clancy
CBC News Vancouver