Stéphane Hamelin, a loyal cyclist on the CIBC team, agreed to talk to us about what motivates him to participate in the Tour CIBC Charles-Bruneau. He also shares his tips on physical preparation and the ways he approaches donors.
"When I was 11 or 12 years old, I was sometimes Batman, sometimes Robin, Spiderman and especially Superman. Superman who, with his proud look, flew over the world with his red cape and blue skinny suit. I admired their courage to save the widow and the orphan in their flamboyant clothes, they were my heroes!
Today, despite my 56 years, my childish heart is still in me. No, I can't fly and I don't have ultimate weapons, but like many who will accompany me from July 2 to 8, 2022, I will live my superhero dream. I, too, have my super tight suit (with a little bit of curves), my armor (my helmet and pedals) and my Jolly Jumper (my bike), which will take me where I want to go, always further for them, with great courage and determination!
My deepest motivation is the look in the eyes of the parents of children with cancer, who touch me deeply each time with a sincere thank you. When I listen to their stories, when they tell me about the famous moment when the diagnosis was made, my blood runs cold to the depths of my soul.
In a second, I feel the nightmare of what they must be going through. I feel the major upheaval of the family unit caused by endless trips back and forth from the hospital to the house. I feel the existential, professional and even financial crisis.
That's why I pedal with courage and determination. For the past 10 years, I have increased my fundraising goal and distance every year. I always want to do more, for them! To go to the end of myself!
10 years ago, when I first participated, I pedaled 140 km from Trois-Rivières to Boucherville, and my fundraising goal was $1,500. This year I will raise over $25,000 and ride 900 km in 6 days. Yes, it scares me, even very scary!
Since September, I have been training relentlessly alone in my basement, under the guidance of a coach. I am always pushing my body's capacity in order to prepare it to pedal 900 km in 6 days. I train relentlessly, despite a demanding job and a life that goes too fast. Not to mention my conscience whispering to me very often, "damn it, I'm not up for it today!"
Raising $25,000 and having over 100 donors, how do you do that? As a financial advisor at CIBC for over 21 years, I have served multiple financially blessed families in Boucherville. And I am an integral part of their financial lives.
I am aware of the trust they place in me as I advise them in an increasingly complex financial world, with the ups and downs of the stock market, inflation and all things personal finance. An unwavering trust built over the years. I am there for them to plan their retirement, their home project, their estate and so on. I am now advising the 3rd generation of the same family!
In turn, I need them! By hearing my message: "Help me save lives! Help me reach my goal, I need you!" and feeling my passion and desire to help, they write me a check.
As I tell my own children, we all have a responsibility to each other. And when we are one of the blessed in life and have health, love and money, we have a moral responsibility to live in a better world!
And until this world is perfect, until they save all the children with cancer, well, with courage, determination and great will, I will put on my tight suit and my cape and ride my Jolly Jumper to fight in my own way this cursed disease that is always too present. Sorry, gotta go; heroes never sleep!"
Thank you to CIBC, its employees and all of their donors for being true allies in the fight against pediatric cancer for over 17 years. To encourage a CIBC team, make a donation to the Tour CIBC Charles-Bruneau.
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