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A Little Something About Lina

Lina was born April 5, 1972 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Like the first child in many families she was loved and adored by her parents, and she established an incredible bond with her grandmother (Nonna) Pasqualina – after whom she was named. Over the years Lina would grow to mirror her Nonna in so many ways, with her kind and gentle heart, stubbornness and strong will. A few short years later Lina would be joined by her sister Fatima and her brother Marco, and rather than act like a disgruntled older sibling she flourished, becoming the mother hen of the bunch. Over the coming years she would often get them in, and then out of trouble, always making sure they were OK. While life in Winnipeg was full of wonderful experiences and great family and friends, the family decided it was time to head for warmer climates – choosing to move west to British Columbia. This landed them in Kelowna in 1986.

While life out west was certainly warmer, it was difficult for Lina. As a teenager in a new place it is a challenge to settle in and find new friends. Although in her typical fashion, Lina jumped right in and quickly found her kindred spirit Leanne. The two were inseparable for the year the family spent in Kelowna and maintained a strong friendship even when they were living miles apart afterwards. Leanne too, also unfortunately passed away at a young age and her loss had a tremendous impact on how Lina chose to live her life – each day to the fullest.

In 1987 the family was on the move again, finally settling in Burnaby where Lina would go on to graduate high school and begin a successful career as a hairdresser. It was during this time period that she would attend a family wedding in Winnipeg and connect with the love of her life, Cateno. Their love blossomed quickly and Teno eventually made the decision to leave Winnipeg and move to Vancouver and begin a new life with Lina. Teno was immediately welcomed into the family and would become an official member when he exchanged vows with Lina in 1993. A “small” wedding back home in Winnipeg attended by over 350 of their closest friends and family! On the day of their wedding, there was torrential rain and flooding in various parts of the city - what better way to celebrate two Vancouverites getting married in Winnipeg than a soggy Lower Mainland style morning!

Fortunately Lina and Teno survived the downpours and after cruising the Caribbean on their honeymoon returned to the Lower Mainland, eventually settling in Port Moody. Lina then began the next phase of her life, the one she had been preparing for since her days with Nonna Pasqualina – motherhood. Lina and Teno welcomed Mateo into the world in 1997, Daniela in 2000 and Giordano in 2003. The day that each of her children entered this world were the happiest of her life. Lina was born to be a mother, and she cherished this role each day. From incredible birthdays and family trips, to playdates with three families in three different locations at the same time, to over the top Halloween and Christmas decorations, Lina was truly happiest being “Mom”.

Lina’s other passion was her family. She loved her Mom and Dad with all of her heart and made it a priority to spend as much time with them as possible. She was “Zia” to two beautiful nieces and was so proud of her brother on his wedding day in November 2010! She was also so happy to be a Madrinia to several of her cousins’ children. Anyone who sees a picture of Lina with any of her nieces, nephews or godchildren would concede how glowing she looked and how much love she had to share with them.

Through her hairdressing, volunteer work and children’s activities, Lina established deep roots in the City of Port Moody. Along the way she made deep and everlasting friendships with so many of the great families in the community.

The Diagnosis and the Fight

Lina was diagnosed with breast cancer at the young age of 34. Although this is considered early, specialists believe that the disease was active for up to two years prior to being found. As a result, she was diagnosed at a late stage, making her fight with the disease that much more serious. As she had done with every challenge that she faced in her past, Lina chose to take this one head on – vowing to beat the disease. With the assistance of the excellent staff and medical team at the BC Cancer Foundation, Lina fought the disease for the first four years.
During these years she experienced many great memories and continued to live her life to the fullest – often accomplishing more in one day than many do in a week. She was supported by her mother, who was by her side at each and every doctor’s appointment and so many of her wonderful friends and family. Lina maintained a positive and determined attitude which is no question a key contributor to her success those first four years. She also became an active participant in the fight against cancer – participating in every Weekend to End Breast Cancer since her diagnosis. Even when her feet where so cracked and blistered from the chemotherapy Lina walked on when others may not have continued.
Lina continued to fight against the disease until her final days – her incredible love for her children, Cateno, family and friends keeping her strong. Lina passed away on January 6th, 2011 – she was only 38 years old.

Linas Legacy

We believe what endeared Lina most to people was her golden heart. She was always willing to lend a hand and to sacrifice her time for the sake of others. Lina was there for each of us in so many ways – from fundraising for school activities or hockey games, watching a child or two (or three or four) after school, or making food and helping gather items when another family suffered a tragic loss, or simply just being there to listen, Lina simply made the time. The number of visitors to the hospital and well-wishes, as well as the tremendous support on the day of her Christian burial, was a sign of how much the community loved Lina, and now misses her so very much.