France Hétu, her husband Robert Paré and their friend Hughes Moisan form L'Essentiel, a well-known team on the Tour CIBC Charles-Bruneau. This year, they take on a major challenge for the long-distance Tour: riding more than 750 kilometers in 6 days, from New Richmond in the Gaspé Peninsula to Saint-Hyacinthe in the Montérégie. They are accompanied throughout by their precious friend Sylvie Giroux for the feedings, and Hughes' son, Xavier, will join the peloton for the last two days.
We are happy and proud to give the floor to these cyclists with a heart of gold and tireless legs, who have been riding with us for the cause for many years.
"In 2004, I would never have thought that by registering for my first Tour, I would have found a second "family" with the Fondation Charles-Bruneau and with the children we sponsor. It was a happy coincidence that I ended up being the only woman to register through my professional order, the Ordre professionnel de la physiothérapie. Obviously, I was won over by this cause and by Pierre Bruneau for his great humanism and his boundless devotion. Even today, he, his wife Ginette and his children prove to us how much they have made this the fight of their lives. Hats off to them.
After 17 years, what still motivates me is to see how much our efforts are worth and how grateful the children and their families are. Meeting them is a highlight of the Tour, a huge source of inspiration and strength. And to see them grow over the years is so wonderful. We learn every year that someone has cancer and it gives us the motivation to ride and raise money for them. Élodie, Marie-Soleil and Lauréanne, for example, are all little suns who are now accomplished women and who continue to contribute in their own way to the Foundation. The great generosity of the many partners, the (physical) efforts of all my cycling friends during the Tour and the unconditional support of my family and friends encourage me to continue."
"It is thanks to my wife, France, that I discovered the great "family" of the Fondation Charles-Bruneau. Seeing the dynamism that drives the cyclists, but especially the resilience that is so strong in children with cancer, it could not help but touch me. Participating became natural for me. Because of my busy work schedule, I could only participate in one day of the Tour, but it was always an exceptional day on all levels, both in terms of cycling and in human terms."
"I have often said and written that the stroke of genius of the Fondation Charles-Bruneau was the pairing of children in treatment and their families with the cyclists. A shock, a wall, a revelation and an unparalleled source of motivation to solicit donations.
Throughout my first Tour in 2006, my new comrades would ask me if I had met "my kid". And they would tell me about their experience, so moving that I was beginning to fear the event that finally happened at the finish line, after 4 days and at least 600 km of cycling. My meeting with Santiago.
The young boy was about 12 years old, a tall skinny guy in the middle of treatment for leukemia. It was very hot and humid, and he had to stay inside to enjoy the air conditioning and not to faint. Shaking his hand was like grasping a cold, wet handkerchief... not much tone in this very weak child. I was completely distraught. I had a sob stuck in my throat and a tear in my eye.
But what a revelation!
After that meeting, I said, wrote and repeated that participating in the Tour was like starting to use a hard drug that creates a very strong "dependency" from which there is only one way to free yourself: to start again each year and to constantly increase the requests for donations.
Today, Santiago is a young engineer who has started to work in his field. As for me, this year I am on my fifteenth and probably last Tour. A beginning and an end, life goes on."
Gloria Patricia, mother of Santiago, Mr Tremblay, the mayor, and myself
Xavier Poirier Moisan
"As we know, countless events, plans and activities have been cancelled in the past year due to the pandemic. However, one thing that unfortunately did not stop was anything related to cancers and serious diseases, especially pediatric cancers. Thus, the funding needs of the Charles-Bruneau Foundation, which supports pediatric hemato-oncology research, remain just as great.
As the father of a young family, I am even more aware of an important part of the Foundation's mission, which is to set up and operate pediatric oncology hospital centers, called Charles-Bruneau units. These units literally become a home for children with cancer, but also for their close families who are present during the many treatments that everyone must face together. I am comforted to know that these families are well received and well treated during this enormous ordeal.
I am therefore challenging myself this year to participate in the Tour CIBC Charles-Bruneau. In return, your support, your likes, your shares, your donations will be most welcome!"
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