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October 1, 2019

Kramberger: Cancer survivor, 10, pays it forward with concert for kids

Beaconsfield violinist Léandre Gaucher has had surgery and chemotherapy to treat a brain tumour. Fundraising is a way for both of them to cope, his mother says.

Violinist Léandre Gaucher, 10, plays at home in Beaconsfield. Gaucher, who recently underwent treatment for a brain tumour, is taking part in the Concert For Kids With Cancer being held Oct. 5 in Pointe-Claire. GRAHAM HUGHES / GRAHAM HUGHES/THE GAZETTE

After undergoing surgery for a brain tumour less than 10 months ago and then completing post-op chemotherapy, Léandre Gaucher will join local musicians for a concert this Saturday to support children fighting cancer.
Gaucher is a Grade 5 student who is about to turn 11. He started taking violin lessons before he turned four, has won medals in music competitions and has already performed at Carnegie Hall.

His mother, Anne Schwab, said organizing this fundraiser concert as well as a swim-a-thon held at Beaurepaire pool in Beaconsfield this summer is the family’s way of paying it forward — a way to acknowledge the quality treatment her eldest son has received since his tumour was detected last December.

“The surgery went pretty well,” Schwab said, noting her son could walk again a few weeks after his surgery and was able to resume violin practice.

Organizing the fundraisers helps both her and her son cope. He continues to undergo periodic MRIs to monitor his recovery.

“It helps me … to find other fun things to do. It distracts (us) from thinking about the treatments. To find the positive from it,” Schwab said.

The charity concert will raise funds to benefit the pediatric oncology department at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, through Sarah’s Fund for Cedars.

“We know how important it is to have (this facility),” she added. “The concert also raises awareness. Talking about childhood cancers, which are underfunded.”

Léandre said he appreciates that he can use his violin skills for charity.

“It makes me feel good because the hospital helped me a lot,” he said.

He hopes to one day become a professional violinist.

AT A GLANCE

The benefit concert also features Benjamin Seah (violin), Sébastien Tsai (violin), Gary Russell (cello), Kerry-Ann Kutz (soprano), Thalia Urbani (voice), Mike Cartile (trumpet), Claire Ouellet (piano) and Sandra Hunt (piano). And there will be a raffle with prizes such as tickets to the Nutcracker Ballet, a Place des Arts concert, the Ecomuseum Zoo and more.

The Concert for Kids With Cancer is at St-Columba-By-The-Lake Presbyterian Church, 11 Rodney Ave. in Pointe-Claire, Saturday, 2 p.m.

Tickets ($25 general, $20 for seniors and students aged 13 and older) can be purchased at the door or online at brownpapertickets.com/event/4337851.
People who can’t attend can donate online at sarahsfund.ca.


Kramberger, A (2019) ‘Kramberger: Cancer survivor, 10, pays it forward with concert for kids’, Montreal Gazette, 2 October. Available at: https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/west-island-gazette/kramberger-cancer-survivor-10-pays-it-forward-with-concert-for-kids


Click here to listen to All in a Weekend with Sonali Karnick - September 28, 2019: Concert for Montreal Children's Hospital.
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