Cancer diagnosis inspires Regina woman to pursue sweet dream
They say do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.
A Regina woman has done just that – but it took a life-threatening disease to help her decide to pursue her passion.
Karen Morley doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth, but she does have a knack for making chocolates.
“It’s a passion,” she said. “But, in order to be successful, you have to be persistent and you have to practise.”
She’s been working at making chocolates for the past eight years. But her decision was brought on by a devastating diagnosis.
“I was visiting my fiancé, now my husband, here in Regina and he insisted I go to the doctor,” Morley said. “About three weeks later, I had the cancer diagnosis.”
Morley was given a 30 per cent change of surviving her diagnosis. She immediately underwent surgery, then radiation and chemotherapy. Her treatment was so intense, she was forced to give up her career in the tech industry.
“The one thing I tried to do was, I baked cookies,” she said. “I tried to do that every day, because it was the one thing that could make me feel grounded and normal.”
As time went on, Morley grew more adventurous.
“I started by blogging all the winning dishes from Top Chef and getting ahold of all those chefs and exchanging with them,” she said.
Morley connected with a pastry chef, who sent her chocolate she had decorated. That’s when she knew she had to try her hand at chocolate art.
“I started trying it at home,” Morley said. “The more I did at home, the more I realized that it’s not something that you can necessarily learn on your own. So then I went and sought out a course and got my professional certification.”
Morley beat the cancer. Her oncologist calls Morley her miracle patient.
Morley never looked back, embracing her new career making custom chocolates and edible sculptures.
“In life, you never regret the things you did,” she said. “You regret the things you didn’t try. Again, I was fortunate enough to have the luxury to try those things and find my passion so late in life.”
Now one of Saskatchewan’s only professional chocolatiers, Morley has one message.
“Don’t wait until you get cancer to figure out what you want to do,” she said. “Just go for it. People in this community in particular are so supportive of local people trying new things.”