Relive the experiences described in the inspiring stories told by people close to the foundation.
Félix et Hélène

My son, a source of inspiration that continues

Four years ago, my son Félix passed away from a rare form of cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma. He was 20 years old. Despite his youth, Félix did more to make his friends and family aware of the beauty and fragility of life than I have ever done. The mark he has left can never be erased. His struggle was not against cancer but for life. Those who rubbed shoulders with him no longer have the same perspective on life, because the lesson came from someone who, more often than not, enjoyed life to the fullest. On his grave are the words “I have no regrets; I listened to my heart.” Those are his own words.

The start of a wonderful relationship

When a person gets a cancer diagnosis for their child, they do not yet realize that they have just walked into hell. Then, all the feelings come along one after the next: denial, anger, rejection, depression, etc. Yet, how can we be an adequate companion for our child when we ourselves have been traumatized by the extent of the devastation caused by cancer? The experience we had makes us realize that there is a crying lack of resources adapted to the situation of young adults and their loved ones.

After the death of Félix, his father and I thought it appropriate to establish a fund in our son’s name, to be devoted entirely to support those from 15 to 39 years of age and their loved ones who have been faced with cancer. It’s important to understand that someone in this age group do not experience the consequences of cancer in the same way as someone in his 60s. Youth are searching for an identity and for independence. They are undergoing many changes both physical and psychological. Thus, it is vital for young adults to find support in their loved ones and resources close at hand so as to deal well with all this upheaval.

To make our project a reality, we contacted the Quebec Cancer Foundation in Estrie. Their mission dovetailed perfectly with our own vision. We already have a few achievements to our credit, among them a room at the Foundation’s Sherbrooke Lodge specially designed to meet the needs of young people, and also a brochure for those who accompany the youth with cancer, in order to help them better face the situation.

A challenge Félix would approve of

Félix was a great sports enthusiast, one of the gang. He had will of iron and a positive spirit that was inexhaustible. He always lived life to the fullest and it is this attitude that helped him to get through his ordeal well. All the energy and hard work my son invested in staying alive must now empower those who fight the battle. In July, I invite you to take part in the Défi Félix Deslauriers-Hallée in Sherbrooke. The goal: to raise funds to ensure that the Progamme a Félix will go on. This event is integral to the mission of the Quebec Cancer Foundation because it offers psychological support to young people with cancer and their loved ones.

Come meet us and share in our cause!

Hélène Deslauriers

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