To call Tasha Miller a big personality is no exaggeration. Small in size and stature, she is exuberant, positive and outgoing.
When she was diagnosed with stage three lung cancer in March 2014, Tasha became very familiar with the oncology unit at the QEII.
“I love all my oncology team; however I also felt a need for emotional, psychological and spiritual support.”
An alternative healer herself, Tasha approached her diagnosis as another step in her journey. But that didn’t mean she wasn’t seeking ways to maintain her positivity in the midst of her cancer treatment.
She still remembers the day she found an oasis of love and light that spoke to her spirit. It was in the QEII itself and was appropriately called the Sunshine Room.
“I noticed a poster in the hospital and it said the Sunshine Room. The name caught my eye. Sometimes hospitals can be so gloomy you feel it needs some sunshine, so I asked someone where to find it,” Tasha recalls.
“It was a lovely room in an environment that was so joyful. The size, the colours, just the people milling about had that spiritual loving energy and the minute you walked in there you knew love was in that room.”
Located on the eleventh floor of the QEII’s Victoria building, hairstylists, massage therapists and alternative therapists volunteer their time and services to cancer patients and their families in the Sunshine Room. Tasha says the love and care she received from those volunteers made her start thinking of a way to give back.
“I told David that I had to find a way back and I asked him if he would help me do a fundraiser for these people and this room,” she said.
David Langstroth, Tasha’s husband, is a musician with Rhapsody Quintet. He began planning the concert months earlier and what was originally going to be a performance by Rhapsody Quintet quickly grew as artists heard about the fundraiser and enthusiastically volunteered to help.
Appropriately called ‘With A Little Help From Our Friends,’ David orchestrated a concert around the entire Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album by the Beatles.
The May 13 concert at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium in Halifax featured Rhapsody Quintet with guest artists that included Stan Carew, The Stanfields, John Gracie, Cyndi Cain, Ben Caplan and dancers from Canada’s Ballet Jorgen, to name a few.
The auditorium was packed and the appreciative audience was enthusiastic as each song from the classic Beatles album was performed by an artist or artists individually selected to bring the song to life.
David says he and his wife experienced such peace in the Sunshine Room that he knew he wanted to give back.
“What’s extraordinary about the room is that it’s not just for cancer patients but for family members like me,” David says. “They recognize that family members are also going through a very hard time when their loved one is undergoing the cancer treatment.”
Tasha herself took to the stage for the final performance of the night. She talked about love and how important it was to her and everyone. The evening’s performers and the audience were then encouraged to sing along to ‘You Are My Sunshine,’ a perfect ending to a night filled with sunshine.