The last time I saw Chris she visited me at my home to drop off three big bags of clothes for the WALK IN WARDROBE™. But I was more interested in her! What had happened over the last few months? How is she feeling now? Is there anything I could do to help?
Given her positive outlook as well as her strength and determination to fight this monster, the announcement of her funeral arrangements came as a terrible shock to me. Maybe she knew. Maybe that‘s why she was eager to see me and ensure her clothes will find a new home.
I first met Chris at a Clothes Swap in East London where we quickly bonded over preloved clothes, starting businesses and new adventures. I was just at the very early stages of my business, but Chris championed my ideas straight away and pledged her unconditional support. And that‘s exactly what happened over the last four years – forever generous and full of heart!
When she was invited to speak on a panel in September 2015 she put me forward to be a panellist with her. Later, we agreed a skill exchange where I did colour analysis for her and she‘d do some video editing for me.
Whenever I run the WALK IN WARDROBE™, she‘d either be there in person or help me promote it. The last one happened on 18th May 2019, only 4 days before she died. She didn‘t commit to coming by buying a ticket. Instead she asked if she could decide last minute to join us in case she was up for it – even if we were sold out. Many of her clothes found a new home that day and I wish she could have seen the joy in the eyes of our guests who are now wearing her pieces. I know she‘d have loved it.
Other than the odd Facebook update and some of her brave vlogs about her cancer, I was pretty unaware of her condition until she visited me in late March and we got to talk properly, one to one. She described the horrific medical procedures she had been through, the logistic challenges of international health care and how her incredible husband Dave had been a rock for her throughout without reservation. We cried together, we laughed together and we gave eachother hope by discussing our beliefs. Being a scientist didn‘t stop Chris from having faith. She found beauty in her weakness.
Chris convinced me that everything will be fine. We had one moment when we both realised how serious her situation really was, but she quickly calmed my heart with her indestructible desire to win. I believed her, because anything else would have been inconceivable.
More than anything, Chris cared about others more than herself. She started her YouTube channel to leave a legacy and hopefully help others identify their symptoms of esophageal cancer much sooner. Her Instagram described the reality of young adult cancer without a trace of bitterness or self pity. To her, awareness and sharing meant education and prevention. She didn‘t allow our evening to be only about her. Two months before her death, Chris offered to help me with my business in any way she could.
What an utterly remarkable woman, I will miss her so much!
In loving memory of Dr. Christine Hone-Buske, 10 February 1984 – 22 May 2019