• John Jantak

Cross-country fundraising drive for young cancer patients


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Jon Shrier rides atop a one-wheel skateboard on Rue Ste. Anne during the start of the cross-country fundraising odyssey to Whistler, B.C.

Jon Shrier has set off on a one-month odyssey atop a one-wheel motorized skateboard from Sainte- Anne-de-Bellevue to Whistler, British Columbia, to help raise funds for cancer research in memory of Cody Bouchard who passed away from cancer at age 19 at the Jewish General Hospital in February.

The cross-country odyssey began under overcast skies on Monday morning, September 1, with about 100 well-wishers dressed in yellow ‘I Ride 4 Cody – No One Fights Alone!’ T-shirts cramming onto Rue Sainte-Anne in front of Cunningham’s Pub to show their support for Shrier and his fundraising initiative.

Honouring Cody’s cancer battle

Cody’s father David Bouchard said Shrier – who is a close family friend – proposed the trip six weeks ago to raise money for other cancer-stricken children in Cody’s honour. Bouchard recounted Cody’s cancer ordeal in poignant detail.

“My son was a cancer survivor. He went through all his chemotherapy treatments and was cancer-free. Five weeks later he was diagnosed with cancer again. Cody never asked, ‘Why me?’ One month after he passed away we found a note he had written to himself – ‘What I’m going to do when I kick cancer’s ass again,’ Bouchard told The Journal.

Helping other young cancer patients

Out of the 30 points listed in the note, the one point that inspired the fundraising drive was Cody’s desire to help other children and young adults afflicted with the disease by starting a fund or foundation, said Bouchard.

“We took that and said we have to start something and we created the CMBFUND (Cody Michael Bouchard Fund) in his honour to raise money to help other cancer patients. We were able to turn it into this thanks to Jon Shrier and Jim Beauchamp from Cunningham’s Pub who was instrumental in getting all this done,” said Bouchard.

“I’m so proud of my son. Unfortunately, he didn’t get to see it but we made it happen for him because we found that note. We are so proud of him for what he did in his 19 years. He brought communities together. He was a very outspoken young man. He wanted to meet people and do everything to keep his name living on forever,” Bouchard added.

PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

(Left to right): Cody Bouchard’s parents David Bouchard and Elaine Descoeurs and Vaudreuil-Soulanges MP Peter Schiefke at the launch of a cross-country fundraising odyssey in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue on September 1 to raise to money for local young cancer patients in memory of 19-year-old Cody Bouchard who recently passed away from the disease.

MP Peter Schiefke attends fundraising launch

Vaudreuil-Soulanges MP Peter Schiefke was also at the event to support the fundraising initiative. “I was blown away by what Shrier is doing to honour his friend and I wanted to be here to support him not only because it’s an incredible cause and I’m inspired by what he’s doing, but also because I’m a two-time cancer survivor myself,” Schiefke told The Journal.

“Shrier is going to be riding across country to make sure that people who are diagnosed with cancer are going to have a better shot at survival and that’s incredibly important. I’m grateful to him for everything that he’s doing and I wish him all the best,” Schiefke added.

VOBOC Foundation

The community of Whistler was chosen as the goal post because that’s where Cody was born. All the money raised will be donated to the VOBOC Foundation, a Montréal-based non-profit charitable organization.

The mission of VOBOC is to address the needs of adolescent and young adult cancer patients with Vo-Pak backpacks for a hospital stay and includes free tools and resources to help in navigating each patient’s cancer journey.

For more information, visit the CMBFUND website at cmbfund.org or voboc.org.

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