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May 27, 2022

The sweetest chapter of my professional life

Beyond how proud I am to be appointed Executive Director of Leucan, other factors are driving me when I think of my new role, of what it means, and the steps that have led me here today. Let me tell you about it.

Yes, there is a sense of pride, but my heart is mostly filled with infinite sweetness. This fond but firm belief that I will be contributing to a noble cause; that I will have the great privilege to join Leucan’s League of Defenders; that I will be reaching out to children with larger-than-life courage and their families.

This dreadful ordeal and huge mountain to climb are just as daunting to parents; while chemotherapy runs through their child’s veins, fear floods their own. I know it well because I lived it as a mom. I had to cope with this anxiety overdose.

In 2007, my oldest son was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma at the age of nine.

In 2008, after a long treatment and a nine-month respite, the cancer recurred.

Back to square one.

In 2009, six months after the last treatment, leukemia came knocking. Still, there was a glimmer of hope in this brutal situation:

A gentle breeze called hope

Leucan and its soothing presence came into our lives only a few hours after the initial diagnosis—like a big safety net made up of humans with tenderness shining in their eyes and hearts.

When we received the famous red bag—Leucan’s confort kit —that families know so well, we read the Porteurs d’espoir book introducing 25 adults and young adults who have gone through childhood cancer and survived. It was like a balm on my bleeding heart at a time when my universe had been completely rattled. I remember thinking that one day, my son would be featured in such a book to inspire other families in turn.

We are now in 2022 and my son is fully recovered from the three cancers he suffered.

We are in 2022 and Leucan is still a cornerstone for bringing hope to children and families and for continuing to write a story of hope and recovery that will one day be filled with hundreds and thousands of pages. And to families faced with the worst outcome, Leucan will continue to provide comfort and support, and fulfil its duty to remember.

We are in 2022, and today marks the beginning of the most wonderful chapter of my career. Every day, I will honour Leucan’s 44 years of history and will, with an outstanding and dedicated team, write a sequel full of hope…and sweetness.

 

Juli Meilleur, Executive Director of Leucan