It was only a few weeks after the great confinement, on March 31, 2020, that the diagnosis came. Marie-Pierre D’Amours, 55, learned that she had breast cancer with bone metastases. On May 14, still reeling from the news, she began her treatment and almost immediately felt the side effects.
One day, during one of her many visits to the hospital, Marie-Pierre found a pamphlet that led her to discover what was to become a source of comfort: the Quebec Cancer Foundation’s wellness services. In the fall, she decided to enrol in art therapy sessions. She also took the opportunity to practice yoga and Qi Gong in virtual mode. In addition, she participated in online visualization workshops with the theme “laughter is health.” Little by little, Marie-Pierre regained her appetite for life. Thanks to these workshops, she can feel good about herself, despite her illness.
“The activities in the Quebec Cancer Foundation’s wellness program have allowed me to develop techniques for living in the present moment. I am able to vent my emotions freely in a safe, caring, empathetic environment. These tools are a tremendous help for getting me through more difficult situations and the beneficial effects of the therapies continue long after the practice sessions.”
On February 3, 2021, almost a year after her diagnosis, Marie-Pierre celebrated her 56th birthday. That’s when she decided to give her birthday as a gift to the Foundation. In less than a week, thanks to the participation of 105 people (friends, family, acquaintances), she raised nearly $8,000.
“I had set my goal at $5,656, which I still thought was ambitious given the short time between when I launched the fundraiser and my birthday. In the end, I did way better than that, due to the great generosity of those around me—and I never had to pull out my big guns (laughs).”
She adds: “The services offered by the Quebec Cancer Foundation are a jewel that is too little known, even now. The Foundation makes it possible to soften the impact of cancer on one’s daily life. For me, there is a noticeable difference between my life before the Foundation and my life after the Foundation. This fundraiser was a way for me to thank the Foundation for everything it does and to allow more people to benefit from this. A way of giving to the next person who needs it.”
Even though her cancer is still very present, Marie-Pierre remains positive and attached to life. In her eyes, this ordeal represents an opportunity to develop her resilience while practicing benevolence. In spite of everything, she feels privileged for all the goodness and beauty life brings to her.
Her motto: “Carpe Diem.”