A Listowel-area resident’s legacy of kindness is continuing to live on nearly a month after she died from breast cancer.
With the second annual #putakinddeedinyourfeed campaign occurring today (September 8) friends and family of Heidi Schlumpf are asking others to perform a kind deed and share a photo using the above hashtag and tagging @putakinddeedinyourfeed on Instagram.
“Heidi, above all else, was just a very kind person. She was always just very thoughtful and generous with her time and her resources. She was always doing little things that kind of caused large impacts whether it was just a little thank you note or sending gifts or letters or showing up at someone’s house with a meal if they’re going through a hard time. She was just that kind of really selfless person,” said friend Heather Rielly.
Schlumpf, who would have turned 35 today, had four young children with her husband Remo. A teacher in Milverton, she was diagnosed with the disease in May of 2021, succumbing to it on August 10.
“She had this very witty sense of humour and was always laughing and very lighthearted. Her home was just really truly a place that was warm, and full of love and laughter. They really did create a wonderful home life for their children,” said Rielly.
Rielly explained the biggest lesson she learned from her friend was that “We can’t control what happens to us, but we can control how we respond to things.
“That is something that I think Heidi fully believed. Through her diagnosis she was simply just a pillar of strength as she navigated her diagnosis, I am not sure other people would respond in the same way that she did,” she said.
Triple negative metastatic breast cancer is a rare form of the disease that is treatable, but not curable.
Following her diagnosis Schlumpf took it upon herself to help change the outcome for others who receive the same diagnosis. Her “Heidi’s Hope Fundraiser” for the London Health Sciences Centre’s Foundation that benefits the science centre where she received treatment has raised more than $122,000.
“The last year of her life was dedicated to her taking action, and spreading awareness and raising funds to go towards research at the cell level for her type of cancer. And I think that speaks volumes about her character,” Rielly added.
The idea for the kind deed campaign came about last year when Schlumpf found out she would be undergoing treatment on her birthday and she hoped to see others spreading kindness while she was undergoing treatment. The campaign got a bigger response than expected, Rielly said.
“It was completely uplifting for her to be able to be sitting in London during treatment watching this movement kind of blow up and go viral and it really was uplifting for her and made an otherwise really crummy birthday really quite special. And so with her passing away last month we are just determined to continue her legacy and make this movement even bigger than last year,” she said.
There is no limit or requirement for what the kind deed is, it should just bring a smile to someone else’s face, she added.
“It’s completely whatever you are able to do. It could be something as simple as buying a coffee for somebody or it can be bringing flowers to somebody or, coming to a local school and bringing in some treats. We’ve seen all sorts of things happen. It could be quite literally anything big or small. There’s no rules, it’s whatever you’re able to do.”
In asking those that participate to share a photo with the hashtag while tagging the Instagram account, the hope is to save the posts for Schlumpf’s kids to be able to look back on,” Rielly explained.
“So when they’re old enough, they can look back on this space where all these kind deeds have been saved for them to see and realize, you know the impact that that their mom had which is the hope.”