Let's hope again

Kindness, empathy and hope... After the year we've just been through, you can't have too much of that. Nor can people dealing with cancer.

In fact, although 2020 has shaken every one of us, imagine the effect it has had on those who were diagnosed with cancer this year. It’s been doubly jarring, doubly unsettling. This is what happened to Nicole, whose testimony I invite you to read below.

Where do you find hope when you can't leave your home or invite anyone in? In a voice, at the other end of a phone line. In unconditional listening. In the knowledge that you are not alone.

Our figures prove it. After a small dip at the beginning of the pandemic—that gave us just enough time to bounce back and recover—demand for our telephone peer matching service, which connects survivors and cancer patients, literally soared, increasing by more than 50% this summer. That's how essential our services are! And without you, they wouldn't exist. The government was quick to proclaim this in March of this year. And the response from the community confirms it every day.

Just a voice at the end of the line. For Nicole, that voice was Jeanne, whom she calls her twin sister. For someone else who needs one, there will be another voice. Perhaps the voice of an experienced oncology nurse over our Info-cancer Hotline. Or the voice of one of our librarians, nutritionists or psychologists.

Each in their own way, these voices will bring hope to those facing cancer. And their need is even more urgent in these troubled times.

I'd like to end with some good news, because we all need some of that. The company UAP (NAPA Auto Parts) has agreed to match every donation made by December 31 up to a maximum of $25,000. A great opportunity, if ever there was one, to double the impact of your generosity.  

Thank you in advance. I wish you all the very best under the circumstances.

Together we can boost the hope factor.

Marco Décelles, CPA, CMA
Director General

“I’ve got a twin, but I've never seen her. I know her first name, but not her last.”

It's one of the conditions for the Quebec Cancer Foundation’s telephone peer matching service, but it's not really so bad. After all, it's her experience and listening skills that are most important to me. Along with her voice, her empathy, and her generosity.

Jeanne had the same type of cancer as me a few years ago. So I'm not an isolated case, and I feel reassured to know that. But most importantly, she came through!

Seeing her today, or rather hearing her, restored and healthy, tells me that it’s also possible for me. I may not be there yet but it helps me to project to when I will be.

And I want to believe her when she tells me that once I get through this difficult time, my situation will improve. I need this even more in these times.

You know, living with cancer inside your body is not the same as accompanying someone who has it. In my eyes, what Jeanne says is more credible and doubly reassuring, precisely because she’s been there herself.

I don’t doubt that she was thrown off balance when she was diagnosed. She experienced incomprehension, and was overwhelmed by the sea of information she had to absorb. She was afraid of the unknown. She was in pain. She thought about death far more than ever before. She had to fight to be able to make informed choices.

Knowing that she has been through all this too, I feel freer to talk about my own difficulties and what I’m going through. There is no medical edge to our conversations, nor any family pressure or expectations.

Just two human beings connected by a thread, who share their experiences because it feels good. I’m not alone. There are at least two of us.

Nicole Moreau, telephone peer matching beneficiary since May 2020