Samyra, the inspiring young girl featured on the posters for the Tour

Have you noticed Samyra, the young teen with the contagious smile, standing in hospital attire alongside a group of cyclists on our advertisements for the Tour? The 15-year-old is in remission after receiving treatment for a cancerous tumour that had lodged itself in her left arm in 2019. Samyra shows remarkable resilience and great maturity when she speaks about her experience with the disease. Let her tell you the story.

“I first found out I had cancer on February 22, 2019, but it took a few more weeks and many tests before I knew what type of cancer it was and where it was located in my body. I was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma on March 1, 2019, and then I knew the tumor was lodged in my left humerus (long bone in the arm between the shoulder and elbow).

You might say I won the cancer lottery, considering that Ewing sarcoma is a rare tumour that affects only three in a million people per year. I took it extremely hard at first, but I knew there was no point in dwelling on the negative. I knew in my heart that I had to stay positive.

Before I started chemotherapy treatments, I had my first surgery to install a CABG. This is a small box with a catheter that was placed under my skin so that I could receive intravenous doses of medication. Afterwards, I visited the Charles-Bruneau Center for a period of three months to receive chemo. I only had a week’s break before I had surgery. They had to remove my humerus and replace it with my fibula (the bone behind the tibia in the leg), which was healthy. The operation took over eleven hours, but the surgeons were able to remove all traces of cancer. They also had to install plates and screws to attach my fibula to my shoulder and elbow. After the surgery, I went back on chemotherapy for four months and, because of the success of the surgery, I was able to avoid about 30 radiation treatments.


I also wore a brace for five months to protect my arm and allow my bone to solidify. I had to wear it at all times, even to sleep and bathe. It was quite uncomfortable, let’s say. Then I started physiotherapy exercises to teach my arm to move again. It was difficult at first since my muscles had atrophied from sitting still, but the rehabilitation worked well; I am now able to do almost anything I want with my arm. However, I can no longer fully extend my arm. When I’m done growing, we may be able to correct that with surgery.

Throughout the process, one of my biggest motivations was knowing that I was going to be able to return to my favorite sport, the one I’ve been doing since I was 5 years old: figure skating. Because of the chemotherapy and surgery, my bones were very fragile and I could have injured myself. So I took a break from training and learned to develop my patience.

During difficult times, my family’s sense of humor really helped me get through. Laughing together kept us together and lightened the mood during certain situations. Also, the amazing medical team at CHU Sainte-Justine supported and comforted me during my long stays in the hospital. In the playroom, I was able to do artistic activities that I am passionate about such as crafts and scrapbooking. This allowed me to take my mind off things and have something else to think about.

Another reason I was able to stay motivated was because I want to do great things in life. I told myself that even though I didn’t have control over everything that was happening to me at the time, I could choose my attitude and decide how I was going to get through this. I was determined to go through all the different stages of treatment and heal.

Thank you to everyone who is involved with the Fondation Charles-Bruneau. You make a big difference and you allow young people like me to get healthy and have a future full of projects. Let’s all keep riding for the Tour CIBC Charles-Bruneau and for a childhood without cancer!” — Samyra, 15 years old 


In addition to being the face of the 25th edition of the Tour CIBC Charles-Bruneau poster campaign, Samyra actively participates in several Tour activities to promote the event and and raise awareness of the importance of funding research in pediatric hematology-oncology.

During the week of July 5 to 9, 2021, Samyra will be by our side to rally cyclists from all over Quebec to the cause! For more details on the Tour, which will take place in person and virtually, visit

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