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Volunteer Advocate
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Spotlight: Jenny Lalancette

What is the nature of your commitment to Cystic Fibrosis Canada (volunteer, donor, event organizer, etc.)?

It all began in October 2015. I wanted to get involved in the cause so I signed up as a volunteer. I was soon asked to become a member of the Montréal regional committee. I was welcomed with open arms by a group of passionate, caring folks who got involved in the hope of making a difference for people with cystic fibrosis. They became my second family. That year, I was hooked! Being a volunteer and a member of the Montréal regional committee wasn’t enough. I chose to join the Montréal Walk Committee. During my first two years of involvement in the Walk, I was responsible for the teams and acted as the point of contact for the walkers. In my third year, I was asked to chair the Walk. And in my fourth year, I am pleased to once again chair the Walk to Make Cystic Fibrosis History in Montréal alongside my wonderful team from the Walk Committee!

What made you want to get involved with Cystic Fibrosis Canada? Do you have a connection to cystic fibrosis?

I’m indeed closely connected to the cause. Given that my husband has cystic fibrosis, I wanted to get involved to make a difference so that he can watch our children grow up, become adults and have children of their own. Once I became involved, I’d say that meeting people just like me, with their own stories and challenges, made me want to get involved even more and fight for all these folks who’ve become my second family. This unique bond that unites us, a bond of mutual aid and compassion, is stronger than I ever could’ve imagined.

What was the highlight of your commitment to Cystic Fibrosis Canada?

For me, two memorable moments have stood out since I’ve been involved.

  • When I got involved, I didn’t realize or even hope that our families and friends would get involved too. I was deeply touched by the physical and financial help from the people around us. Some friends signed up as volunteers for the Walk, others collected donations from their colleagues, friends and relatives, and others still helped me organize and prepare certain events. What a wonderful feeling to see so many friends and relatives ready to help and support you!
  • For me, this moment was very revealing. One morning, I found out that a friend’s daughter had received THE CALL she was waiting for. New lungs had finally arrived for her. Given that I’d already been through this with my husband, I had no idea that I’d be so overwhelmed by the news. I was sitting at my desk, at work, and I couldn’t understand why tears kept rolling down my cheeks. It was as though I was living this moment for the second time and it hit me hard. I couldn’t help but leave my piping hot coffee on my desk, run out of the office and head to the hospital to give my colleague, his wife and his daughter great big hugs. I simply wanted to be there for them. I wanted to listen to their concerns and share their joy and fears. For me, that’s what the cystic fibrosis community is all about. You just want to be there as if it were your own daughter who was waiting for new lungs.

Why is it so important to support Cystic Fibrosis Canada?

It’s simple! If people like you and I get involved in the cause, we’ll be able to help advance research and save lives. It may be my husband’s life, your son’s, your daughter’s or even your own! I want to continue supporting families affected by the disease and making a difference for them.

What does #AWorldWithoutCF mean to you?

For me, it would be a victory for all the people who are closely or remotely involved in the cause. A world without the fear of losing a loved one. A world in which my husband can walk my daughter down the aisle on her wedding day. A world in which we can plan for the future.

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