Honourary President shares personal story of courage and perseverance
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
Honourary President Nicole Séguin receives a bouquet of flowers from Mayor Guy Pilon’s granddaughter Maeva Pilon as he looks on at the annual Vaudreuil-Dorion blood drive at the Centre MultiSports last Thursday afternoon, November 15. This year’s drive brought in 212 donors, seven more than anticipated.
Nicole Séguin is no stranger when it comes to dealing with adversity. As the Honourary President of this year’s annual Vaudreuil-Dorion blood drive for Héma-Québec, Séguin shared her personal story about the gift of receiving blood during the drive with The Journal at the Centre MultiSports last Thursday afternoon, November 15.
Séguin recounted her story during brief pauses. She was after all, busy doing what an Honourary President does best – welcoming donors into the blood-taking area – and chatting with them to make sure they were comfortable as they gave blood while sitting on their recliners.
Thankful for blood donors
It’s the simple, selfless gesture of giving blood that impresses Séguin about donors. She developed breast cancer in 2005 and had a recurrence three years ago. “I’ve had seven operations since then with the last surgery this year. I spent one of the nicest summer’s we ever had at the hospital,” said Séguin who will turn 60 in January.
“I had just finished a 10-week treatment and caught some bacteria. This helped me to see the other side of what it’s like to be receiving blood. It’s important for me to say thank you and how grateful I am to everyone who gives blood. I’m so thankful to be alive and to be able to enjoy life with my two sons and husband that I decided to donate my time to the children’s hospital,” Séguin added.
Paying it forward
Her desire to pay it forward began 12 years ago when she became involved in the annual Vaudreuil-Soulanges Relay for Life to help raise funds for cancer awareness and research. She was named as one of the event’s ambassadors in May. Séguin is proud of her participation with the organization. “I’ve given a lot of time for the Relay for Life,” she said.
This year she decided to volunteer at the Children’s Hospital. “I want to help the children because they are very vulnerable. I was in the oncology department and had a great time. The children may have cancer and I’ve been through that too but we found a way to have fun and share our happiness together,” said Séguin.
Positive attitude and tenacity
“It was very important for me. It was one of the things on my bucket list to be at the Children’s this year. We didn’t talk about the sickness. We just talked about having fun. They may not have hair, but I went through that too. I don’t see how they look. I see them for who they are through their eyes and hearts,” she added.
Séguin credits her attitude and tenacity with helping her through her struggles. “I don’t know why I have this perseverance but I think life is giving me the opportunity to see how far I can persevere. This is my story. I’m always positive. Even when it’s tough, I try to see the bright side. When I had my last treatment in oncology, I dressed as a witch. I brought candies and we all laughed together,” she said.
Mayor Pilon thanks donors
Mayor Guy Pilon thanked Séguin for volunteering as Honourary President and all the participants who gave blood. “Thank you to everyone who came out in support of this wonderful gesture of solidarity,” said Pilon who also donated his blood.
This year’s drive brought in 212 donors, seven more than anticipated. The city has been involved with Héma-Québec to help supply blood to Quebec hospitals for many years now. Anyone 18 years of age or older can donate blood every 56 days, six times a year. The next annual Vaudreuil-Dorion blood drive will take place November 14, 2019.