Who is Denis Rooting For?

By Cancer Foundation on August 27 / 2018


Denis takes a break during the Epic Walk.

A familiar face will be volunteering this September at Walk Together, to help support and cheer on those who know what it’s like to be in his shoes.

You might recognize Denis Raymond, the young man whose story captivated the Ottawa community in 2014. A year before that, at the young age of 26, Denis was diagnosed with a rare brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme. It carries an average life expectancy after diagnosis of only 12-18 months.

But a local clinical trial changed everything. Now, five years later, Denis is doing well and giving back.

“I was a participant during the 2014 Epic Walk, the similar event that preceded Walk Together, and was so impressed with the organization, the energy and the joy that was spread from the first step onwards,” he says. “The sense of inclusion and community during this event was very moving.”

Walk Together is a 20 kilometre walk across Ottawa taking place September 22, 2018. Denis has signed on to be a volunteer to help generate the atmosphere he was so thankful for as a participant, and he’ll be rooting for everyone from the walkers to the families who will benefit from the funds raised.

“The smiling faces throughout left a smile on mine. The volunteers kept us hydrated and happy. The event stuck with me throughout the year, so much so that I felt compelled to participate in some way in future events,” Denis says. “It’s a great way to spend the day, while allowing the possibilities for improving the lives of Ottawa cancer patients and their families.”

This year, funds raised through Walk Together will go towards purchasing colonoscopes for the Queensway Carleton Hospital, and to local Cancer Coaching programs at the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, something Denis is particularly passionate about. “As a cancer survivor myself, I can attest to the power of the local cancer care, in particular to the power of the care promoted by the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, such as the Cancer Coaching programs, dietary and nutrition workshops and other support programs.” He says “These can only exist in the context of a connected community, striving for the maintenance of funding for these programs. Our sick and infirm members need us. Our members living with long-term after effects of their cancer care and treatments need us. Their families need us. Volunteering for this event and other similar events are how we can improve their lives, and, subsequently, ours.”

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