International Women’s Day

The incredible women behind Carley

As the saying goes, “behind every strong woman is a tribe of strong women who have her back”. For Carley that was certainly true. She was surrounded by determined women in skating, smart and thoughtful women as her friends, and strong women as her role models.

Carley herself may have been the strongest of all. But that didn’t happen by accident. So, today, on International Women’s Day, we wanted to take the time to celebrate the women who made Carley.

Starting with Joni.

No, our grandmother was not named Joni, but that is what we called her. Pretty confusing when you’re a kid in kindergarten telling your teacher that “Joni” is coming to pick you up today and they are looking for a young man! If that helped to set the stage, Joni and her story were just as unique as the name we called her.

Joni Immigrated from Iran to Canada with the love of her life (our papa). Like most incredible immigrant stories they did so with no money and no knowledge of the language. So naturally, they moved to Canada and started a family. But these were not your average immigrants. They made it their mission to have and raise children in Canada the same way your average Canadian family did. Papa worked tirelessly to make ends meet and Joni was the rock, the base, the support! Papa the young Iranian father wanted to buy a cottage and teach his kids to ski. So Joni, as Joni always did, fed the family, supported the endeavours and cheered them on as if her only aspiration in life was to ensure her family had the support to do anything they could dream.

In the wise words of our Uncle Glen… Joni didn’t start a successful family business, she didn’t become a lawyer and she didn’t run a marathon at the Olympics but she DID make sure her husband, children, and grandchildren were always happy, healthy, loved, fed and supported so that THEY could do incredible things.

If you ask me, that’s a special kind of strong. Selflessly giving all of you to the ones you love so that they can accomplish their dreams.

Now on to Mum.

As I’m sure most of you know, the legacy of strong women behind Carley did not stop there… That Olympic marathon mentioned above, yes, our Mom ran it. She worked, she ran and she raised 3 girls ALL at the same time. Mum didn’t need to support us the way Joni did for her so that we could accomplish our dreams.

Mum just showed us.

She showed us what being a woman now was all about. We grew up knowing it was cool for women to be strong and athletic, it was cool for girls to run faster than boys, it was cool to wear running shoes and it was also cool to put on a dress and high heels. She never had to work to “redefine” women for us. We grew up equal because that’s all we knew.


Between Mum and Joni they had it pretty much covered.

So, on behalf of everyone who has been inspired by Carley’s story, thank you to the women who made her. May taught Carley how to be tough and resilient yet still sensitive and kind. Joni taught Carley to be brave, believe in one another and be truly selfless. Carley taught us to #alwayssmile.

I will leave you with one additional quote that Carley loved- “Strong women may we know them may we raise them may we be them”

By: Riley Allison

Want to learn more about the incredible woman Carley’s Elle Allison? Well if you do, Join us April 18th for the Carley’s Angels Book Launch of “Always Smile: Carley Allison’s Secrets to Laughing, Loving and Living. TICKETS HERE

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