photo submitted by Amber-Lea Marie Joanne McNeil, Trish Marrion, and Cheryl Clarke stand as a trio in front of Purple Essentials, welcoming all Purple Angels.

Purple Angels rally to help cancer-stricken Qualicum Beach couple

Community keeps Purple Essentials operating as owner battles brain cancer

Inspired by the belief of what it means to live a pure and simple life, together Christine and Graham Weatherby successfully cultivated their dream of Purple Essentials.

The name of the Qualicum Beach health and beauty shop is derived from the first three letters of (pur)e and the last three letters of sim(ple); and thus the word purple has been reborn with a meaning far greater than just the colour – to live pure and simple – the very definition of what it means to be a Weatherby.

Since settling in Qualicum Beach by way of Kingston Ontario in 2016, friends say it has become an obvious mantra to the community that the Weatherbys live to give.

And now, it is their turn to give back.

On July 18, came the devastating discovery that Graham was diagnosed with grade 4 brain cancer – glioblastoma multiforme. If this sounds familiar, that’s because it is. The diagnosis is the same given to Tragically Hip lead singer Gord Downie.

A Go-Fund-Me page set-up by DJ Levy has generously surpassed $27,000, a reflection of the love and compassion the Weatherbys have provided to others, touching many in a pay-it-forward partnership.

Close friends Joanna McNeil, Cheryl Clarke, Trish Marrion and Holly Yates are among those helping to keep the store operating through this tough time.

“They’re best friends. They’re lovers. And they’re business partners. They’re just seemingly on the same page about everything,” they said in a joint statement.” They’re pillars of support for each other – they just really compliment one another.”

“The support has been overwhelming,” said Christine. “Its indescribable how much the generosity of people we don’t even know has touched our lives.”

A fighter in the sense that he will do anything for his wife, above all, Graham is a lover; he lives to love everything about everyone.

“Every day is lived with gratitude,” said Christine. “Even through the darkest times, we are grateful for our life together.”

For those that know them, and those who have only heard their story, the Weatherbys have taught what it means to follow our dreams.

“Purple Essentials was my dream, and Graham did everything he could to build it for me. And now, it has become our dream,” said Christine. “I just can’t explain how much I love this man.”

Christine makes clear that it’s only through the extraordinary kindness of others that medication and accommodation expenses will be covered for Graham during his treatment journey – scheduled to begin in Victoria’s Cancer Clinic on Aug. 20.

“We thank everyone so much for all of your donations and time spent to keep Purple Essentials’ doors open while we go through this,” she said.

As medications, travel, living and day-to-day expenses steadily rise, the community is encouraged to make a donation to the Weatherby’s Go-Fund-Me page, with a goal of reaching $100,000.

“Near and far, all of you have become our Purple Angels,” said Christine. “We love you.”

To donate, please visit:

— Submitted by Amber-Lea Marie

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photo submitted by Amber-Lea Marie The Purple Angels from Qualicum Beach and surrounding communities gather store-front where the doors of Purple Essentials are being kept open Monday through Saturday, 10am-4pm, in support of Christine and Graham Weatherby.

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