For the second year in a row, it is now possible to participate in the Tour CIBC Charles-Bruneau from a distance, and thus take part from anywhere in Quebec in this major charity event for children with cancer. This is what Gilles Ferland and his IGA Abitibi team did again this year, exceptionally a few days before the official date of the Tour. Let's meet the instigator of this very special involvement.
What has driven you personally to take part in the Tour CIBC Charles-Bruneau for the past 20 years?
In 1998, there was a little guy I knew well who had cancer, and I wanted to do my part to help young people like him. When I heard that the Charles-Bruneau Foundation was coming to Abitibi for its cycling tour, I had the chance to get involved on several levels. I thought it was important to do so, and I continue to do so 20 years later. Every dollar raised helps to continue research and save lives, I think that is important. Especially since the money raised goes directly to hemato-oncology research.
Why did you decide to participate in the Tour à distance again this year?
Every year, children from our region are treated at a Centre or a Unité Charles-Bruneau. I think it's important to spread the word about what the Foundation does for all children with cancer in Quebec, not just those in the major centers. Thanks to research, children from all regions benefit.
What was your journey?
We walked about 100 kilometers in Abitibi. Among our small group of eight, two had never done a long bike ride. They were hooked! We also had the chance to meet Lexie, a young girl suffering from cancer in our region, and to spend a nice moment with her. Lexie was smiling, it was a good day for her. We met her parents and her little brother, as well as some of her close family members, very nice people with whom we will keep in touch.
Do you have any words for children with cancer?
To all the kids: you are our inspiration! Your courage and attitude in the face of all that is happening is absolutely amazing. We will continue to be there until we can find a cure for everyone.
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