Jean-Luc R.'s story: a desert journey resembling cancer

Jean-Luc R.’s story: a desert journey resembling cancer

“The atmosphere among all of the participants was one of mutual support and empathy.”

Around twenty years ago, my spouse Guylaine died from an aggressive brain cancer. Ten years later, my spouse Sophie, 45 years old at the time, received a breast cancer diagnosis.

While Sophie is now in remission, these two close brushes with the disease took a toll. No one is ever truly prepared to confront cancer, which can leave us feeling very alone at times. I tend to compare cancer to a trek across the desert, an analogy that strikes close to home, having just crossed a real physical desert.

I’m an avid traveler. I recently returned from a trip to Egypt and will soon be heading off to Switzerland. A few years ago, a social media ad caught my eye and allowed me to discover the Quebec Cancer Foundation’s trips, organized for charitable purposes. I took part in my first Voyage ta vie adventure in the fall of 2022, when I traveled to Morocco; this was followed by a second trip to Italy, this one in the fall of 2023. I greatly enjoyed both of these experiences and am already looking forward to another adventure with the Foundation.

Moroccan challenge and cancer

My time in Morocco was especially touching. There was a major heat wave while I was there, bringing to mind the expression ‘sizzling hot’. Each day brought with it the same ritual: we would get up, walk all day, go to bed, then rinse and repeat. And despite being surrounded by breathtaking landscapes, each moment of every day was challenging. A bit like the lives of people coping with cancer. I feel as though I experienced, albeit on a much smaller scale, what people with cancer face on a daily basis. Luckily, others were by my side during this trek across the Sahara desert. The atmosphere among all of the participants was one of mutual support and empathy. The end of our trek left every one of us emotionally taxed, but also proud to have gone above and beyond to complete the challenge. It was an exhilarating moment, tinged by a spirit of sharing and solidarity. I came to understand that this was what people with cancer need: to be taking care of and supported. Which happens to be exactly what the Foundation offers.

Services you should know about

I didn’t know about the Quebec Cancer Foundation when I took care of  my loved ones with this terrible disease, but if I ever find myself having to contend with this anew, I won’t hesitate to turn to the organization’s programs and services. I salute all of those who are facing this ordeal right now, or who may be called upon to do so one day in the future. I’m honoured to walk in your name during every one of my trips with the Foundation.

Some other interesting testimonials


Édith D.'s story: a financial assistance that adapts to people with the disease

“I’m grateful to have the opportunity to bring a breath of fresh, hope-bearing air to those buffeted by cancer’s whimsies daily.”
Beneficiary read book

Annie L.'s story : breaking down isolation

“Art therapy was of great help in releasing my emotions and anguish I was experiencing on a daily basis. Also, ussi, Through the recommended readings of their documentalist, I was also greatly reassured by the stories of other people living with cancer."
Testimony of Serge D.

Serge D.'s story: coping with the precariousness of cancer

“I understand that the Support program for daily living activities will not solve my financial situation, but it is nonetheless a valuable source of support.”

Linda D.’s story: art therapy as a patient, but more importantly, as a loved one

“It’s a gift that I give myself once a week, a gift that transports me elsewhere and allows me to forget my difficult daily routine for a moment.”

Roxane S.'s story: 3 diagnoses at 31

“Some of the frustrations and negative feelings I was experiencing were perfectly normal. This knowledge went a long way towards facilitating my acceptance process.”
Lucie en voyage pour le cancer

Lucie Gaudreault’s story: helping while traveling

“We all had one thing in common, a shared desire to give, and yes, to travel.”