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Man completing late wife's list of life goals

Slug: MeghanFile SubmittedMeghan Baker

Slug: MeghanFile SubmittedMeghan Baker

Kristin Feddema

For The Petrolia Topic

"For the Love of Meghan" started as a page on Facebook that allowed people around the world to support its namesake, Meghan Baker, in her second battle against cancer.

When Baker passed away on April 27, 2010 at the age of 28, "For the Love of Meghan," became so much more than a page on Facebook to her husband of one month, Adam Warner.

It became a way to remember Baker, a place to talk about what had happened to her and a place to raise awareness for the volunteer trips he plans to make in Baker's memory, said Warner.

"I want people to be aware that we're all connected and that we can help each other out, very, very easily."

Warner met Meghan Baker, who was a resident of Petrolia, while teaching English in South Korea in 2007. The pair met through a friend of Baker's and began dating almost immediately, Warner said.

When both of their contracts in Korea came to a close Warner and Baker left for their hometowns of Washington D.C. and Petrolia respectively. It was at this time that Baker was first diagnosed with breast cancer.

Then in January 2010, Baker learned her cancer had metastasized in her brain.

Baker was both optimistic and determined, continually believing she would would beat the cancer and live a long and healthy life.

"[Her] determination a lot of times in our relationship was very frustrating because she always got her way," said Warner laughing. "But it was a good thing, it definitely spurred me on to do a lot of things that I wouldn't have done if we were not together."

Two of the things Warner has set out to complete are a cross-Canada and worldwide tour, completing various volunteer projects along the way. These tours are just two of several life goals Meghan was determined to complete.

In addition to the Facebook page, Baker kept a blog that, among other things, contained that list of goals.

On Feb. 7, 2010 Baker wrote, "This past September, I sat down and wrote out some life goals to try to get myself back on track after all of the treatments and delays that I had in the past year. Some of them are pretty lofty, some of them pretty idealistic, some of them silly, but they were mine. I was proud of them and was seriously making efforts to try to get started on accomplishing them."

When Baker passed away Warner resolved to complete her list of goals.

"When loved ones die, or are taken from us, there is no reason to shut down and sink into a hole of despair," said Warner. "I think it is important to keep moving and do things for them and because of them."

Warner hopes to embark on his cross-Canada tour in the middle of July. He anticipates it will take him about a month to travel across the country, only staying in major cities for a couple of days. He said the whole trip will cost about $1,200.

"I have good friends in all these places that I can stay with, so I am trying to not pay for room or board, to help keep the costs down."

Warner does not plan to visit northern Canada because the train, Warner's chosen method of transportation, only goes east-west. But that does not mean he will not try.

"If I have a way to get up to the territories, I absolutely will," he said. "I really want to see the Northern Lights, and I know the further north you go the easier it is."

From Vancouver Warner hopes to depart directly to Australia, the first of five countries he will live and volunteer in for three months each. Other countries include India, Central/South America, southeast Africa and Eastern Europe.

"[Meghan] wanted to go to 23 countries and live in five so if I do five long term projects, in countries that I've never been to and she's never been to, then I think it fulfills both of those goals," said Warner.

The details of Warner's plans are still being fine tuned, he said. He has information about volunteering at a school in India but is relying on his friends and the followers of the Facebook page and blog for more suggestions about volunteer opportunities worldwide.

To raise money for the trips, Warner is accepting donations and selling purple, "For the Love of Meghan" wristbands for $5 plus shipping.

To support Adam and his trip around the world, anyone can make a secure online donation through www.ms-mae.blogspot.com. After completing a donation, people may e-mail Adam at fortheloveofmeghan@gmail.com with their mailing address and how many bracelets they would like.

Baker's list of life goals also included running a marathon and mastering a musical instrument.

"I play bass guitar and drums, but not exceptionally well," said Warner. "That's on the list though so I have got to get a lot better."

- Kristin Feddema is working for The Petrolia Topic and other QMI publications in the region this summer and is a media studies graduate of the University of Guelph-Humber.