Jacquie Wickett has faced every parent’s nightmare – a cancer diagnosis for her child.
Over March Break 2017, son Aidan was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia – the most survivable form of leukemia.
“That was the beginning of seven months of intense chemotherapy and steroid treatments,” Jacquie said. “It was pretty brutal. As a parent, you just go in with blinders on, it’s so hard to process all that’s going on.”
The team at CHEO made all the difference.
“The staff, the nurses, the doctors have all been amazing,” Jacquie said. “It’s funny – it’s a place where Aidan was going to go expecting to feel awful because of his treatment, but there is always such an upbeat and positive vibe. It’s a place where you feel safe and supported.”
Three years later, Aidan continues on a maintenance program of medications as an outpatient. The whole family is looking forward to the day in May 2021 when his treatment will be over and he can ring the bell at CHEO.
For 2020, the Wicketts are serving as a 24h Tremblant 2020 CHEO champion family.
“Being involved puts a positive outlook on something that we went through that was really bad,” Jacquie said. “Aidan is eight now and he really gets it. He knows what he has been through and wants to be involved because he feels he is giving back to all the great people who helped him.”
Cancer’s impact doesn’t end with remission
Today, a child diagnosed with cancer has an 80 per cent chance of being cured. But even with a cure, two-thirds of these children will face aftereffects or complications resulting from treatment that can persist through their entire adult lives.
That’s why it’s so important to continue investing in research, to not just cure cancer, but to offer safer and more gentle treatment options, and provide these children with more positive outcomes.
“There’s no way we would give up on the kids! We’ve seen an improvement in recovery rates over the last few years, but we know the battle’s far from won. We need the business community now more than ever to make a difference in this fight so that children can have every chance to stay healthy.”
For 20 years, the 24h Tremblant charity event has been raising funds for children’s causes. This year, the CHEO Foundation will be a direct beneficiary of the event. The funds raised will be used to support cutting-edge cancer research at CHEO and the CHEO Research Institute.
Jacques Chamberland, senior vice-president and chief digital officer at Export Development Canada, is an honorary president for the 2020 edition of 24h Tremblant. He has been involved with the event for six years as both a participant and a member of its executive committee.
For Chamberland, the cancer diagnosis of a friend’s child hit close to home and encouraged him to get involved.
“I get personally involved in various causes related to kids’ education and health because I feel really privileged to be where I am in life and want to give back,” he said. “It’s important for all of us to contribute a certain percentage of time or money or whatever we can give to these things that serve a greater good.”
24h Tremblant is a great, fun way to do that.
Raise funds, have fun through 24h Tremblant in any way you want
In prior years, the event has brought together thousands of enthusiastic participants who ski, run or walk in a 24 hour-long relay to raise money. It has proven to be a popular team-building event that offers something different.
The need to stay safe during the pandemic has led the organizers to create a virtual fundraiser that features remote activity challenges.
What kind of challenges? Practically anything is fair game for the 2020 event. Whether you do something solo, in relays or with a team; non-stop or with breaks; an extreme outdoor sport, or something in your living room – anything goes!
“The only limit is your own imagination,” Chamberland said. “24h Tremblant is a great way for co-workers isolated by working from home to take part in a group activity for team-building and to boost morale.”
Register your team today
Since 2001, 24h Tremblant has raised more than $36 million. Each year, the funds raised support three official beneficiaries with the goal that one day, all children can grow and flourish in good health. For the 2020 edition, Fondation Charles-Bruneau and Fondation Tremblant are the other two direct beneficiaries in addition to CHEO.
24h Tremblant takes place Dec. 4 to 6 and registration is open until Nov. 22.
To register a team of two to 12 people, and for ideas of what your team can do to raise funds, please visit https://www.24htremblant.com/en.