Montreal, QC., Sept. 18, 2019 – Last weekend, 30 riders set out in the picturesque Eastern Townships for the 3rd Annual Cedars Ride for Hope and Gratitude, raising in excess of $125,000.
With 124km to cover, these latter embarked on a journey filled with scenic cycling, great riding camaraderie and exciting new surprises in support of the Hematology-Oncology Cell Therapy for Blood Cancers under the leadership of Dr. Pierre Laneuville.
“Hope and Gratitude are the words I live by every day,” explained Rob Callard, cancer survivor and the driving force behind this epic ride. “They are a constant reminder of the hope that we conquer this complicated disease, and the gratitude for life and for the wonderful people I have met and surround me in my life.”
Cell Therapy Immunotherapy has shown new promise in the treatment of blood cancers and other applications and is being utilized as an alternative to certain forms of chemotherapy. By establishing a new Cell Therapy Unit under the direction of Dr. Pierre Laneuville, doctors, researchers and patients will benefit from this promising and burgeoning area of research in the fight against cancer.
“The Cedars Ride for Hope and Gratitude has successfully raised over the last few years vital funds for Dr. Pierre Laneuville’s Cell Therapy. This leading-edge program saved my life and I hope to make a difference in someone else’s cancer journey.”
Amongst the eager riders who joined Callard on this year’s ride were Andrew Carter, ambassador of the Cedars Ride for Hope & Gratitude and morning host of CJAD, as well as fellow cancer survivor, Benoit St-Amant. St-Amant is also being treated by Dr. Laneuville and he touched everyone as he shared his own cancer journey. “Thank you, Rob, for having me on the ride, it’s was an honor to be part of such a nice event,” he stated. “Thank you to Dr. Laneuville whom I met through my friends at Cedars.
I am here today, still alive and in good shape mainly because of his research. All the money we raised goes directly to Dr. Laneuville’s cell therapy unit, and will directly help me, and thousand others to fight cancer and suffer less from chemo.”
For more information or to make a donation, visit the Cedars Ride for hope and Gratitude website.
Pictures of the event are available on Flickr.
Rob Callard’s Story
In early 2009, overweight and tired of feeling unwell and lethargic, Rob set out to finally abandon dieting and adopt a healthier lifestyle. Getting on a bike and riding every night helped him improve his physical fitness and lose more than 80 pounds in two years.
In September 2011, and thanks to the weight loss a tumor was discovered on his abdomen which was quickly diagnosed as an advanced form of incurable but treatable non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.In 2011, a year after successfully completing his treatments, including having his stem cells harvested and banked away, Rob decided it was time to get back on the bike and turn his passion into a fund-raising initiative. In 2012, Team Hope and Gratitude was brought to life.
At the end of 2018, he was faced with the unfortunate return of lymphoma and received treatments to eradicate the disease for a second time. After some complications from the nature of the strain, he once again had the good fortune to be overseen by Dr. Pierre Laneuville, who has proven to be instrumental in the quick diagnosis and treatment of his relapse, using the stems he had banked away in 2012.