While 24h Tremblant is a fun-filled weekend of skiing, running, and walking relays at beautiful Mount Tremblant, it’s really about supporting the kids.
One of those kids is Alex Tourangeau, a 15-year-old who was diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2013 and was one of nine sponsored child ambassador’s from last year’s event. Alex has undergone more than 1,100 doses of chemotherapy and despite the incredible challenges he’s been through, he remained positive throughout the treatments.
“I kind of tried to stay away from negative thinking people and tried to be courageous and not think of anything negative,” he said. “I just try to aim for the end of it and tried to get better as best and easily as I could.”
An avid athlete who practices Kung Fu three days a week, Alex was able to attend Camp Quality with money raised at 24h Tremblant. The camp supports kids with cancer and has locations in Ontario, Alberta, and Manitoba. Alex looks forward to the week-long experience every year.
“Camp Quality is amazing,” he said. “Each child is paired up with an adult counsellor and they stay 1-on-1 for 24 hours a day. There are 5-8 nurses on site and 1 or 2 doctors as well. We get three meals a day, three snacks a day, and it’s just
overwhelming how nice, caring, and positive the people are.”
Alex spoke at the Saturday morning breakfast at last year’s 24h Tremblant to share his story with around 4,000 people. One of the individuals in the crowd that day was Eric Parent, a financial security advisor with Compass Wealth Management, who will be returning to ski at the event in December for the 8th year in a row. Parent was a freestyle skier when he was younger and still has a passion for the sport, but his motivation at 24h Tremblant lies elsewhere.
“For me it is for the children,” Parent said. “It’s kind of hard when you see those kids having trouble and they don’t have the chance to experience everything. It feels great knowing you are doing something for them.”
Parent notes that his favourite part of the weekend is the Saturday breakfast, where people share stories about how the money they’ve helped raise at 24h Tremblant really makes a difference to kids like Alex. When Parent hears the challenges these kids and their families go through, it puts his own life into perspective.
“I feel pretty lucky that my three kids are in great shape,” he said. “Every time something goes bad in your life you always realize, after seeing those families who struggle a lot, you feel pretty lucky. Nothing is that bad in my life when you realize the chance that we have.”
Both Parent and Alex have benefited from 24h Tremblant in different ways. Alex is gearing up to return as an ambassador again this year, where he is always amazed by the graciousness of everyone surrounding the event.
“It was so overwhelming how positive and happy people are,” the teen said. “Every person I met, they had a big smile on their face and asked me how my day is going. There’s no down people there. They were all up, excited, happy to be there and very family friendly.”
Parent is anxious to start his ski season at Tremblant, but the slopes aren’t what keeps bringing him back.
“When I realize the impact we can make, that’s why I do it every year.”
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