Stories of participants and supporters

Maryse Desmarais


“I have been a Tour CIBC Charles-Bruneau volunteer for the Fondation Charles-Bruneau for six years now. I am a home educator and in 2007 I kept the little Laurence. She was diagnosed with a Wilms tumor (kidney cancer) at the age of 3.

This news changed my life, but it also allowed me to bond with her and her family forever.

Some time later, Laurence was a spokesperson for the Tour CIBC Charles-Bruneau at which her dad was participating. I went to greet them on arrival and was deeply touched by the people there. From the families to the people of the foundation, there was a frenzy and so much love for these children that I too wanted to be part of this great team. I knew I did not have the ability to ride, but I was going to volunteer.

Maryse (blue sweater left) and Isabelle, volunteer and mother of Laurence (blue sweater right) with cyclists in the Tour CIBC Charles-Bruneau in 2013.

In 2012, I started to volunteer for the Quebec City course and Laurence’s dad still rode! For a few years now my husband has also embarked on the adventure with us.

Maryse and her husband, Marc-André.

I have many lasting memories that will stay forever in my heart. To rub shoulders with these inspiring families and children, to see their hunger for life, their strength and their courage despite the illness, touch me deeply. The mutual assistance between cyclists throughout the course; to witness them surpassing themselves for the sake of the children. I cherish the bonds that I have woven with fantastic people.

A group of 2016 Tour CIBC Charles-Bruneau cyclists surround the volunteers, Sophie, Isabelle, mother of Laurence, Maryse and Laurence (bottom row from left to right).

Volunteering is my way of giving back for all the great care that Laurence has received, is to be grateful to have had 4 healthy children and a grandson.

For me, it is also to tell parents who are currently living the worst moments of their lives that they are not alone, that there are people who, in their way, are there for them and are wholeheartedly with them.

As long as I can, I will continue to give my time to help this cause that is dear to my heart; we must stop this disease and it is together that we will get there.“ — Maryse Desmarais

A group of 2017 Tour CIBC Charles-Bruneau cyclists with Laurence (first left) and three volunteers, Isabelle (her mother), Maryse and Marc-André (top row from left).

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