"When I first decided to participate in the Tour CIBC Charles-Bruneau 10 years ago, I started by collecting funds from my clients, like many other Quebec employees. As I recall, one client in particular made an online donation that included a message of encouragement to a little girl: “Don’t give up.” I felt close enough to the client to ask him to whom his message was intended. The message, he explained, was for his niece, who had just been diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukemia and was slated to begin chemotherapy treatments. She was just nine years old.
The more we talked about it, the more empathy I felt for the girl. The client then put me in touch with the little girl and her mother. After speaking with them, I gained a whole new appreciation for what drove people to take part in the cycling tour. I felt an immediate connection to this little girl and her family. As the father of two girls, I could only imagine what they were going through. From that moment onwards, the Fondation was no longer the sole reason for my participation in the Tour. Now, she was the main source of my motivation.
At some point the little girl expressed a desire to attend the Tour. Her mother told me that her daughter would probably be too tired from her treatments, however. Knowing how badly she wanted to be there, I decided to pay her a visit before the event.
That year, imagine my surprise when I saw her waiting at the finish line with her family! Her grandmother came to see me. “You have no idea how much you’ve done for her,” she said. She went on to explain how I’d had an impact on her granddaughter, though in my heart I knew that it was she who’d had a much greater impact on me. The same day, the little girl and I made an agreement: I would continue cycling for the cause, and she would continue her fight against the disease. In the years that followed, not only did I continue cycling, but the girl’s mother and my own daughters also joined the Tour. Two years ago, the girl was there to meet us at the finish line again. Only this time, she was in complete remission and could finally say: I am cured.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, I took part in several running events aimed at raising funds. The pandemic complicated matters, of course, but I believe the Fondation’s mission is more important than ever. No child should have to deal with cancer, and that’s why I intend to pursue my involvement with the Fondation Charles-Bruneau and the Tour."
A huge thank you to Jean-François and the entire CIBC team for their involvement and endless dedication to the Tour CIBC Charles-Bruneau.
For more details on CIBC's commitment, refer to this article.
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