10MembersAngelsKirstenHurlOur False Creek Angel, Kirsten Dawn Hurl

Kirsten came into our lives for a short time, but she left a legacy of love that transcends time. She was a freespirit who left her presence in our dragonboat forever. She was a joker who made us all laugh. She was a mischief maker who got us into trouble with great regularity. She was a cell phone photographer who delighted in catching photos of her crew in all manner of awkward poses. She loved candy time in the boat and picked through the gummy bears and chewy snakes to find her favourites. At warmups she could not stop herself from dancing with her Kirsten “moves” that entertained us all. She loved her fellow dragonboaters with a big heart. She appreciated everything that everyone did for her with a big smile and a big “Thanks”. She was a fighter, a courageous warrior woman, who wanted to live with such passion that she often infected her crew with her indominatible spirit. She was always in pain, but she never spoke of pain. She only spoke of her love for this sport and her crew. We saw her blossom last summer into a flower of great strength and beauty—like a sunflower. She was a bit shaky and fragile at the beginning of the season. At the end of the season she was taller and stronger and more colourful and more full of life. It was as though the sea air and sunshine and companionship had reinvigorated her. In turn, she brightened the space around her. Who will ever forget her hugging the mayor and the lucky paddle at the Alcan Rio Tinto Regatta. Who will ever forget her riding in the hot pink, sparkly Barbie car at the Canada Day Parade. She wore a tiara and looked every inch the princess. Who will ever forget her being pushed in her wheelchair through the paddle arch in Nanaimo, high fiving every paddler with a huge smile on her face.

Today, her spirit is in the wind and the water and the sun and the trees as we bid her good bye.

Kirsten Darling
We will be missing you forever!
You were our sunshine! You are our sunshine! Because of you the world was, and is, and always will be, a sunshinier place.

Gail Belcher