The Mission of the Ensign Ewart Research Fund is to advance research into cell therapy and immunotherapy for blood cancers under the Cedars-Laneuville Cell Therapy Initiative.
The fund was created in memory of William Ewart Callard (1924-1981), and is administered by his son Robert Callard, who continues to see him as a mentor and guiding light long after his passing. Robert, himself, is a cancer survivor.
William Ewart Callard was a Montreal businessman and historian who taught his children the importance of charity and a humble respect for those less fortunate.
The Ensign is used to describe heraldry, in which William had a passionate interest. It symbolizes tradition, family values and community.
“We make a living by what we get… but we make a life by what we give.”
ROB CALLARD: The Story of Hope and Gratitude
In early 2009, overweight and tired of feeling unwell and lethargic, I set out to finally abandon dieting and adopt a lifestyle that I hoped would last a lifetime. Getting on a bike and riding every night helped me to improve my physical fitness and lose more than 80 pounds in two years.
In September 2009, and thanks to the weight loss, I discovered a tumour on my abdomen which was quickly diagnosed as an advanced form of incurable but treatable non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. A set-back from the positive changes that had taken place that year, but I was willing to face this challenge head-on.
In 2011, a year after successfully completing my treatments, including having my stem cells harvested and banked away, I decided to give back by participating in my first charity bike ride for cancer research, with my friend Dave Wiggins by my side.
The following year, I decided to form a team within the Ride to Conquer Cancer, and we aptly named it Team Hope and Gratitude. These are the words I live by everyday, and 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.
Since 2009, I have participated in 14 charity events, and collectively have raised more than $300,000 for cancer-related research. More than 30 individuals have become members of our team over the past six years, and we have forged lifelong friendships out of this. The culture of “HG” as we call it, keeps growing and I am proud to share it with all of those who show an interest.
My partnership with the Cedars Cancer Foundation is the next logical step in the Hope and Gratitude journey. A wonderful organization which understands the meaning of these words, and a perfect fit to ensure that my mission to raise money for cancer research continues.