Since last May, Quebecers of all ages and backgrounds have been mobilizing across the province in preparation for the 3rd edition of La marche du Grand défoulement, which has been reinvented this year in response to COVID-19 as "La marche de chez toi" (the "Walk-at-home"). Together, despite these difficult times, they raised more than $260,000 for the Quebec Cancer Foundation. Organizers of the walk invited hundreds of team captains, participants and donors to celebrate life, by staying connected but physically distant, at a virtual spectacle on October 24th.
The Marche de chez toi, an innovative formula from both the virtual and physical standpoints, allowed Quebecers to show their solidarity with people affected by cancer, in complete safety and in accordance with Public Health guidelines. This year, they have joined forces all cross Quebec, in walking, from the comfort of their homes or their neighbourhoods, and have raised a record amount.
"In these uncertain times, this vast movement of solidarity is proof that Quebec is stronger than ever [...] In the face of this devastating scourge [cancer], you are there, like a ray of hope at the end of the tunnel. Your altruism is a true source of inspiration for all of us." declared Marco Décelles, Director General of the Quebec Cancer Foundation, addressing the generous, courageous participants in the Marche de chez toi.

In 2020, 55,600 Quebecers will be diagnosed with cancer. While everyone quarantined themselves, cancer never missed a beat. All the walkers were well aware of this, and decided to commit themselves all the more determinedly, sending a message of hope to all those affected by cancer, whether near or far. They took up a host of challenges and walked for 30 minutes, 60 minutes or over 90 minutes a week. This blue wave that has swept across Quebec has resulted in no less than 345,700 minutes of walking: that’s 5,762 hours or 240 days!
"While COVID-19 has exacerbated the problem of loneliness for everyone, this is especially true for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy." says Nicole Moreau, a beneficiary of the telephone peer matching service offered by the Quebec Cancer Foundation. Nicole, who was diagnosed with cancer in full confinement, wants to stress the importance of being accompanied by experienced oncology professionals: "More than ever, people with cancer and their loved ones need the accommodation services offered by the Foundation in addition to its physical well-being and psychological support programs."
In these difficult times, Quebec is united as never before. Extraordinary initiatives were accomplished in every one of the six regions where the march took place. Of particular note is the exceptional contribution of $100,000 by Mallette, a major provincial partner of the Marche de chez toi. "Taking part in this wave of solidarity for the benefit of the Quebec Cancer Foundation and the Eastern Quebec Cancer Association is an inspiring, enriching experience. Our employees in particular went the extra mile because they knew that their involvement would have a real impact on the quality of life of Quebecers with cancer." explained Mario Bédard, President of Mallette.
The Quebec Cancer Foundation extends its warmest thanks to all participants, donors, volunteers and partners for their trust and humanitarian spirit.

Over the past three years, more than $750,000 has been raised by the Marche du Grand défoulement. With the money raised, thousands of Quebecers will be able live full lives in spite of the disease, whether through our Lodges, the Info-cancer Hotline, the telephone peer matching service, massage therapy, kinesiology or art therapy.

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