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The testimonial of Yvon Chouinard

Published on February 1, 2021

On the occasion of World Cancer Day, IRIC gave the floor to a few of its precious philanthropists who delivered powerful testimonials.

The entire IRIC community extends its warmest thanks to its loyal partners and donors who greatly contribute to the success of our activities and the fight against cancer.

Here is the testimonial of Yvon Chouinard.  


Chances are you’re like me: you never saw the Covid-19 pandemic coming.

We could not have imagined such an upheaval to our lives, such a risk to our health, coming from such an insidious enemy. But, when it did hit, there were people who were prepared to face it and to enlighten us. Those people were first and foremost those working in research laboratories.

Now, if I were to replace the word “Covid-19” by “cancer”, what I just said would be every bit as true!

Cancer is just as insidious of a disease, but also very complex. There are close to 200 types of cancer and for each one of them, it’s a matter of finding the right treatment that is also adapted to the person suffering from the disease.

Sharing knowledge and a collective effort become necessary. Research plays a crucial role. That’s why I support the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer of the Université de Montréal (IRIC).

Thanks to IRIC, the Université de Montréal has become a key player in oncology. Its team of experienced scientists can also rely on strategic partners that can guide the research work carried out at the Institute towards clinical studies likely to lead to therapeutic solutions for the benefit of cancer patients.

The spirit of collaboration unique to the Institute, which also maintains close ties with the world’s major universities, ensures that even modest amounts of money can help lead to discoveries that will one day become therapeutic solutions. The revolutionary treatment using the UM171 molecule, developed at IRIC, serves as an eloquent example.

As a result, you’ll understand the importance that donors like you and I can have, because our act of generosity makes that multiplying effect possible. That’s why on the eve of World Cancer Day, I hope that you too will contribute to supporting IRIC’s Investigators.

I got to know them in the early 2000s, when IRIC was hoping to take flight. I had been approached to be the ambassador for a major fundraising campaign. It was when I was completing my second battle against cancer.

This may surprise you, but it wasn’t so much the fact that I had been diagnosed with cancer that convinced me to get involved. It was meeting with the Investigators, passionate and creative people who were there for science at the service of mankind, with a commitment that approached a calling.

I don’t know about you, but I am drawn by people who are motivated by the desire to change things. And that’s the main quality of IRIC’s Investigators.

Knowing that one person in two will suffer from the disease in their lifetime, it’s fair to say that cancer is, in some ways, also a pandemic. As a cancer survivor, I definitely went through some challenging times. Most of all, I saw my loved ones suffer.

Supporting a centre of excellence like IRIC means both providing determined experts with the means to be tougher than cancer and being equipped to be collectively better prepared to face the future. For ourselves and for those who are dear to us.


Thank you for supporting IRIC through your donation!

Yvon Chouinard


P.S. – We are extremely fortunate to have, in Quebec, an institution that is recognized worldwide, devoted to discovering new cancer therapies, with research teams that collaborate on many projects that can lead to therapeutic solutions for all. On the eve of World Cancer Day, I thank you for supporting IRIC through a donation. Help them to help us defeat this disease.