Monique was 59 when she signed up to her first CRS Challenge. Philanthropic by nature, she was already known to those around her for her participation in numerous fundraising activities for the benefit of various causes. She was therefore not surprised when one day her husband gave her a leaflet on the CRS Challenge, a program of charitable expeditions run by the Cancer Research Society. Feeling drawn to the Machu Picchu challenge, she registered without really knowing just how much room the CRS Challenge would take up in her life.
I was 4 years old when I had my first experience with cancer. My 3-year-old cousin had leukemia and I remember having gone to see her with my mother. I remember being deeply shaken. Later, when I became a nurse, I worked a lot in home care and I saw how much suffering cancer could cause. Now that I am retired, helping the fundraising efforts for cancer research is my way of doing my part.
My primary source of motivation is the satisfaction of surpassing myself and the incredible feeling of accomplishment I get after every challenge. I truly get the impression that I am making a difference. Plus, everyone encourages me enormously. Many have said that it’s inspiring to see me do this at my age.
There are participants from everywhere and of every age. There are challenges with differing levels of difficulty and so each person can find something that suits them. Anybody can do it, as long as they train for it. I succeeded at every challenge because I always took my preparation seriously.
Each time, I meet participants from previous challenges as well as new people. Strong relationships are formed because, regardless of our differences, we are all united around the same cause, one which touches each of us personally: cancer. Therefore, succeeding becomes a collective challenge. Once we are at the end, we are all moved to have done it together. It is very gratifying and wonderful friendships are formed.
I remember in particular the time I did the Kilimanjaro challenge. There were sixty porters and guides and they sang every morning to encourage us. The joy and energy they emanated gave us a boost of motivation to get going. That, along with the magnificent setting, was absolutely magical! Every one of my challenges has had a great impact.