A Night I Will Never Forget
Written By: Anna Muir, JGI Canada Volunteer
Category: Dr. Jane
For Candice Combdon, meeting Jane Goodall was an especially poignant experience. Candice met her lifelong hero in April 2018 following a talk Jane gave in Kitchener, Ontario. Still somewhat overwhelmed by the experience, Candice says simply, “It was a night I will truly never forget.”
Candice attended the lecture a mere 13 days after undergoing surgery to have her right leg amputated below the knee. Born with spina bifida, a condition that affects the development of the spine, Candice had endured multiple surgeries, infections and leg braces to improve mobility. Finally, she underwent the drastic surgery required.
Of all the wisdom and insight that Jane offers, it is her faith in the indomitable human spirit that speaks to Candice most profoundly – and which Candice herself personifies.
Growing up, Candice had wanted to work with chimpanzees, but was told it was too difficult and too dangerous a career path “for someone ‘like me.’”
Listening to Dr. Jane—both on and off the stage—solidified a belief in her ability to make the world a better place. “We talked about never giving up, despite your hardships,” she recounts. “Jane inspired me beyond words to keep working toward my goals.”
Candice plans to dedicate herself to improving the lives of chimpanzees—either as a caregiver, scientist or animal rights activist.“I’m more excited than ever to see where life takes me—I’m hoping it’s straight into the forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo!”
Candice’s boundless spirit is a timely reminder of our potential to repair the world and live sustainably so that all living creatures can flourish.“You don’t need a lot of money, a fancy education or the ability to travel the world to make a difference. You can start right now, where you are, with what you have.”