HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Beginning in September of 2010, Valérie was introduced to the world of public speaking. Having created “Valérie’s Team” in the summertime through the Terry Fox Foundation, she put together a team of 200 people and was raising over 15 000$ by the end of August. Her story and project caught the attention of the Terry Fox Foundation, and she was asked to speak at the Ottawa Kick-Off Breakfast for the Terry Fox Run on September 9th 2010.
She spoke about her diagnosis, the upcoming major surgery she was to face a month later, her history with cancer in the family and her support of the Terry Fox Foundation for the past 10 years. But what really caught the room’s attention was to hear Valérie speak about her goals, her motivations, and her search for a purpose throughout her battle. She spoke from the heart, a testament of her positive attitude and her love of life.
Valérie spoke alongside of some of the top fundraisers for the Terry Fox Run as well as Dr. John Bell, a Senior Scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI). CTV News and CBC News were present at the Kick-Off Breakfast, and both local news channels aired a clip of the event on the night-time news.
Following the success of her very first speech, Valérie was invited to speak at her former elementary school, which was participating in the school Terry Fox Run in her honour. She spoke to the children, aged 4-12, about her story, cancer, Terry Fox, and the importance and success of cancer research. But most importantly she told them that cancer is not something to be afraid of; it’s an opportunity to realise how precious life is and how we can all come together and make a positive difference in the world, just like Terry Fox did. Valérie had a gift of being able to speak to any age group and manage to pass along her message and inspire her audience.
It was after the Kick-Off Breakfast for the Terry Fox Run that Valérie fell in love with public speaking. She enjoyed so much to be able to recount her story and to speak to people about the importance of cancer research and funding for the cause. She found it incredibly rewarding to help others understand the need for this research, as well as help them see all the beautiful, positive things that can come from a challenging obstacle in life.
Valérie’s main goal for her public speaking was to raise awareness for all types of cancers, especially for the more rare types (like her diagnosis) that lack funding. She wanted to make sure that all types of cancers are equally known and funded. Her second goal was to be a motivational speaker and inspire people to live positive lives and follow their dreams. What kept Valérie going were her goals and dreams and the people who enriched her life and made her happy. Her wish was for others to live positive, fulfilling lives, and for people to help make a difference in the world.
Valérie found tremendous joy in public speaking. She believed that she had found her purpose in this and wished to keep raising awareness for cancer research and to keep inspiring others. A member of the executive team would be pleased to speak at any event or to address a specific audience. Our main focus, as legged by Valérie, is to address children of all ages through their schools. Valérie believed that helping younger ones understand the disease and see a positive opportunity through the obstacle can make a big difference in cancer research. Children are the future of society, and helping them see what’s important can create an optimistic future for everyone.