September, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month may be coming to a close, but our dream – that all children with cancer can be cured and live healthy lives – continues.

To end the month of September in style, the following is an eloquent testimonial from Julie Desjardins, who was cured of pediatric cancer and is now among the cyclists taking part in the Tour CIBC Charles-Bruneau.

Together, on the road to a cancer-free childhood!


“I turned 40 on September 14, 2019, and it was truly a big deal.

First, because turning 40 is a big deal for many people; it is a time of reckoning, about halfway through our full lives, that for many is frankly a little difficult to navigate.

In my case, it was an excuse to throw an extraordinary celebration. Little Julie made it to 40 after doctors predicted her lifespan would be shortened considerably due to a neuroblastoma diagnosed in 1980. A little banged up, certainly (aren’t we all!), but still standing firm, with a magnificent progeny (you can take my word for it) and a dynamic career.

To this day, 40 years of survival (or almost – I officially turn 40 next summer) after a bout of pediatric cancer is still too rare a feat.

For the past five years – and particularly since the renewed onset of after-effects related to the cancer – I have dedicated myself more actively to this vital cause. Because the impacts continue to be felt long after people are cured of pediatric cancer.

In 1983, Dr. Jocelyn Demers, the great Québec-born pediatrician who dedicated his life to hematology and oncology, published a book entitled “Victimes du cancer, mais… Des enfants comme les autres.” (Victims of cancer… children like any other.)

At 40, I dream that an increasing number of these young victims of cancer will grow up to become ADULTS like everyone else. Just like me (or almost).

As I write these words, I hold a special place in my heart for lovely Noémie, who is currently recovering from a stem cell transplant in August, with the stem cells coming from her mother. Our heartfelt hopes are that this transplant will allow her to overcome her neuroblastoma (the same cancer I had as a child).

I think of bubbly Charlie, in remission for the past two and a half years (another reason to celebrate!) thanks to the many advances in research.

With love in my heart, I also think of Carine and her husband, who saw their beautiful Jules transformed into a little star because of this scourge.

In 2020, I will celebrate the unique opportunity to mark 40 years of remission. I will also take part in my fifth Tour CIBC Charles-Bruneau, which will mark its 25th edition this year.

We don’t know one another, you and I, but just the same I’d like to invite you to celebrate with me the immense progress achieved through research, which has allowed more and more young people to “grow up and be cured,” as Charles himself so earnestly wished.

But, because major gains must still be made to ensure that all kids have a chance to become adults like us, please join me in helping the Fondation Charles-Bruneau surpass the ambitious objective it sets for the Tour CIBC Charles-Bruneau in 2020, as it has every year. In doing so, you will help put an end to pediatric cancer. And I promise you: you will be transformed by the experience!”

Latest news