Participants testimonies

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“Coming from the four corners of Canada, we shared, we laughed, we even wept … We saw life! These journeys have allowed us to regain confidence in ourselves, as a group, and as individuals, by allowing us to master nature. This trust, we will carry it with us for the rest of our lives. Wow! We’re just young people and we’ve had a great adventure. If we were able get here, imagine what we can do next! ” – Samir F.

 

“Let’s take advantage of our last day here.

Let’s breathe the great spaces

Let’s gaze at silence, listen to harmony reigning here.

Tomorrow, it will be a thing of the past.

Our feet might never walk again on these fragile paths.

The present second is the most important

Let’s take advantage of it.

Life is too short to not consider it as a gift.” – Marie-Hélène C.

 

“Honestly, after the expedition, I felt an enormous weight lifted from my shoulders and I am ready to achieve all my goals. Having lived for three weeks in the Arctic, without even a dry toilet for my needs and isolated from the rest of the world, I feel ready for anything. ” – Jackie B.

 

“The On the Tip of the Toes expedition made me realize that cancer is not the end of life, but that it is an obstacle to overcome. It brings us closer to the others and we emerge stronger.” – Chris. B.

 

“We were all treated in the same way as everyone present, like normal human beings despite illness, whether we had finished our treatments or not. Also, the connections and the friendship within the group grew stronger and more meaningful as the days went by. I would have to admit that it was kind of difficult to communicate through my terrible French-speaking skills, but with friends I learned to trust and even confide in, there was nothing I could not handle.

Some people might consider what we had done as crazy and some may not, but this expedition was not about what other people thought, but something we needed to regain once again, our self-confidence. I never really understood what I had achieved for myself until the last day on Anticosti Island. The knowledge of what I experienced during my stay with the group really brought me to realize that the trip provided a better perspective and options into my life. I will never regret taking on this challenge, but I am rather proud of myself and what I have accomplished. Although our trip had ended in the means of ‘actions’, the bond that kept us together as a group will only get stronger, by remaining in contact with one another either through e-mail, mail or by phone.” – Tine P.

 

“You have given me with the best experience of my life. I believe that this trip helped me to create a vacuum, to forget all my problems. It allowed me to meet new people with whom strong links were established. I never felt as appreciated as I did with the people who were part of the trip. It also allowed me to do activities that I would not have tried before a very long time, or perhaps never. I think this trip helped me regain self-confidence and made me realize that there are other people elsewhere with whom I can share commonalities.

Before the trip, I did not think that a group of people who do not know each other at all could leave each other at the end so close to one another. Everyone, even the travel team was great! The facilitators were not stifling and did not force us to do anything, but everything looked so great that, personally, I wanted to try everything. Even though I was dizzy, I tried mountain climbing.

Everything was perfect! In short, I wish everyone had an experience like the one I lived! Great thanks to the On the Tip of the Toes Foundation! ” – Annie L.

 

« It was fun to experience things we usually don’t do every day, like climbing, snowmobiling, etc.  I would have loved this to last forever. It was my first time riding a snowmobile and it’s what I liked best. As for the gang, I think there was real complicity between us all. Everyone was super friendly, even the adults were cool. They let us do anything we wanted up to a certain limit. It’s fun to take on challenges, especially when it’s things you did not think you could do. Thank you for everything; it could not have been better organized. ” ». – Mikaël L.

 

“By participating in the trip on Anticosti Island, I realized that the destination is not what matters most, but rather who we do it with and who we meet to share what we discover and experience. I didn’t think of going home and saying, “I would like everyone to be here this week, as if to continue the journey.”

I was really surprised by the number of things we had time to do. I could never have imagined that our days would be so full. We were all tired at the end of the day, but just knowing that the minutes we had to spend together were counted, for my part, I must say that it did not bother me at all to stay up! In addition to allowing me to experience new activities, the trip allowed me to really forget everything that stresses me in normal times.

The trip to the island, for me, really was to forget the problems of everyday life. I’m sure there’s still a lot of things this trip has brought me, but basically at first glance, that’s it. I also take the opportunity to say that I was impressed by the organization. I never thought I’d come back with so many things. ” – Geneviève C.

 

« My doctor introduced me to a program for children with cancer; the foundation was called “tip-of-the-toes”. I was curious about what benefit this program would have on children with cancer. The more I learned about the goals of the organization, the more I wanted to participate. When I was finally chosen to go travel the Gwaii Haanas, I was ecstatic. The Gwaii Haanas was the most beautiful place I had ever been in my short life, being there taught me to understand the full meaning of life, it also made me realize why I fought so hard to battle my cancer. The people that were involved in this trip were all inspirations to me. We all learned important life lessons, which will make us all better people. This trip allowed us to gain self-confidence in a group and as individuals by allowing us to overcome nature. Reaching many different goals we thought were impossible created the confidence we gained in the Gwaii Haanas. This confidence will be carried with us for the rest of our lives. The effect of this trip has left twenty new friends in my heart, and that’s one feeling I will never forget. Thanks to everyone involved, I wish I could have the opportunity to show you my true appreciation. » – Kyle L.

 

« I sit here on a rainy Sunday in reflection.  My thoughts wonder into images of our time in Gwaii Haanas.  I marvel at how the sun shone for those brave teens.  The sun so allusive in the Charlottes came out to bless the teens and to reflect the light already within them.  My world was opened during the week, I began to see the healing power of positive thought and the how each and every teen with us shone with encouragement.  Nothing was too big for them to face. I think back on them often when I feel overwhelmed or discouraged and my attitude changes.  I thank you so much for the opportunity to have my world expanded. » – Jennifer L.

 

“In the real world, many people look at us differently. But when we’re together, we’re no longer young people with cancer, we’re just ourselves. It is rare that we have the chance to show our strength in other things than fighting our disease. I will never forget this experience, this beauty, these people. Thank you! ” – Analyn B.

 

“This expedition made me realize one thing: despite my disease, my limits can go much further than I thought.” – Alexandre C.

 

« When my nurse mentioned to me that I was a candidate for some kind of expedition during March break I originally didn’t want to go because I would just be getting back from another trip and I would miss a lot of school and work.  But I quickly changed my mind when my nurse said she would kick my butt if I didn’t go.  Boy! Am I glad that I went.  As soon as I got out of the van, I left 110% boosted with energy already because of fresh cold air and the warm greetings of our guides which I can now call friends.  The whole experience from day one on was the best in my life.  To drive the dog sled was incredible but the views were more exciting and beautiful then anything I have ever seen in my life.  We climbed Mt. Valin to have an amazing view of the valley below.  The barrier between French and English speaking people lasted a matter of hours.  And as soon as that barrier was broken, friendships began to grow.  The dogsledding, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing was a great once in the life time experience but the best stuff happened at night when we sang, we laughed, and we played cards (the French way).  I would like to thank all those involved from the guides to the dogs and especially to those who gave their time and money to make a great dream like this come to life for very special kids.  It will be something we will remember this forever.  It has been the time of my life. » – Nathan B.

 

“On the Tip of the Toes expedition is an experience I will never forget.  On this trip, I met many new friends, discovered more about the world around me, experienced things I never dreamt of doing, and best of all, learned more about myself.

I am glad that I took the challenge to participate in this rewarding experience. If I had not taken this chance, I would not have learned as much about my abilities and what I could achieve. Sometimes during the expedition, it was hard for me to go on. There were many times that I wanted to give up, but I persevered and I now know that I can accomplish anything if I try hard enough. In the end, my determination paid off.  I experienced many new things, saw the beautiful view from the summit of a mountain, and most importantly, had lots of fun.

This expedition was the first time that I have experienced camping in a tent.  It was a very different environment and I was not used to it in the beginning.  After the first night, I started to enjoy the stay and I learned a lot from this experience.  We all helped out with all that needed to be done and I did not realize that hard work could be fun.  This was a unique learning experience that will stay with me for all time.

The new friends that I met on this expedition were very special to me.  We could talk openly about our worries, hopes, and fears among the group because we knew that everyone had experienced something similar. Unlike the friends from school, we really understood how each other felt because of our similar circumstances. We bonded quickly and got to know each other really well during this trip. We took comfort in each other’s company and reminded ourselves to never give up hope.

I really appreciate all the time and effort that went into organizing the trip. A vital part of the success of this expedition is because of the experienced organizers and guides that made this journey so much more fun.

I am really happy that I was chosen to take part in this worthwhile adventure. If I were not given this chance, I would not have met all the fabulous people that have changed my outlook on life forever. » – Carol M.

 

“How can I describe this journey forever etched in my memory? For me, no word can describe the experience we have lived. The team has succeeded in developing an exceptional chemistry that has allowed us all to be deeply involved. The organization was perfect with several backup plans: plan A, B, C… amazing activities, excellent food and a group of sensational instructors and guides. This trip is for me a new beginning. It has allowed me to meet wonderful people and especially to detach myself from my cancer and its world, to go forward and regain a taste for life. I only have congratulations for you!!! My greatest and sincere thanks.” Stéphane P.

 

“For me, this expedition helped, among other things, to make me aware that I was able to take control of myself. I believe that self-esteem is increased by such an experience. In addition, being with other people who have lived the same thing as us is more than beneficial, because it allows us to feel immediately understood and especially not to be judged.

This experience has dramatically changed my way of seeing life. From a girl who was afraid to go outside, I now want to help other people who are in the situation where I was. With the life experience and having lived such an experience, I now have confidence in myself and I believe that I can really help people who want it.” – Annick M.

 

“I learned a lot from this trip; it allowed me to evolve with young people of my age who are undergoing an experience similar to mine. I managed to increase my confidence in my approach to others. I learned a lot about the Crees and their way of life. The trip also allowed me to learn to fight the cold, whereas before I could not do it. I am very proud of it. This trip will help me a lot in the future; it opened my eyes on new horizons of which I want to know more. Now, I only dream of adventures and new discoveries about the landscapes that surround us. For that, I would like to thank the whole team from the On the Tip of the Toes Foundation and all those who contributed to the realization of this trip. Thank you !!!” – Sophie P.

 

“If I tried to express how much I owe you, I don’t think I would ever end. That is why I am honored to present you with a demonstration of what you helped me achieve throughout these years and I’m eternally grateful for: courage and self-confidence to combat all my fears and conquer my goals one step at a time! Thank you for being there for me. I still carry your support with me! Forever grateful, now and always.” – Diana M.

 

“I feel so blessed to have been able to go on that trip, it was a once in a life time thing.  It taught me a lot about myself and the determination needed to complete the expedition.  I was totally impressed by the way everyone stayed positive despite the weather circumstances and everything I just wanted to thank you for opening my eyes to a whole new world. I never wanted to leave, it was amazing.  I can honestly say that I will never experience that again. I just want to thank you and everyone involved with the trip.” – Jennifer R.

 

“I have never gotten to love so many people in such a short time all at once. Thank you! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart! I felt like something was missing in my life these past few years and the week with you filled it for me, and I feel like I can go on with my life now. I have been telling all my friends back at school all about this amazing trip. It is nice to see my friends again but I would rather be back with everybody in the Chic Chocs than anywhere else in the world right now! You guys are awesome.

It was so good to be able to talk about my disease with others who went through the exact same thing and understood so well. As Anne Marie said, “It felt like I came alive again.”   It was what I had been searching for and needing ever since I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s.  I feel like I can put that all behind me now and carry on with my life.  Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you so much.» – Erica V.V.

 

«I don’t think I’ve ever experienced anything more refreshing in all of my life.  To be taken out of one’s routines and thrown into such an incredibly new way of life was something that I truly enjoyed and will cherish for a long time to come.  To top it all off, that seemingly strange new group that I met in Tadoussac, among the rain and the bags and all the confusion and anxiety of that first day, is now a group of friends that I already miss and can’t wait to hear from… » – Brenda G.

 

“Your trip has been an incredible experience for me. The expedition gave me so much hope for the future and allowed me to express the true feelings I feel about my experience with cancer. The expedition made me stronger internally and now I have muscles too. Having the opportunity to meet and share with so many incredible people was for me a gift and inspiration to live life to its fullest and start living as before. During my treatments, I found it really difficult to talk about what I was going through, but there I felt that I could tell everything. So, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Now, I have a new perception of what it means to be a cancer survivor; it means that I can accomplish anything if I have faith and perseverance. I realized that my cancer was not a hindrance to achieving my dreams. On the contrary, my illness has made me stronger and encourages me to work hard to accomplish what I want. I cannot wait to climb another mountain and see the gang again! With lots of love,” – Amandine J.

 

“I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate in this trip and to have lived all these new experiences. This trip helped me realize who I really am and what I want to change in my life. The people, the food, the scenery and, of course, everything I’ve learned, helped to make of this trip the best in my life! Thank you again for all that has been done by the On the Tip of the Toes Foundation for us all. I miss you a lot. I hope that someday soon we will all be together to celebrate what we have accomplished. I wish you lots of luck for the future. May your goals and dreams come true.” – Nathan N.

 

“I just wanted to say thank you for this wonderful trip. I had a lot of fun. I really enjoyed this expedition. I have done and seen a lot of things. It was an incredible journey and I made friends. It is definitely one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. I learned a lot during the trip and I have gained a lot of things that I brought back home with me. I have also learned about Innus, on nature and on myself. I have accomplished things that I thought impossible. I made new experiences and I think I have acquired autonomy. I believe that it is the same for all participants. I feel privileged to have participated in this expedition with everyone; it is obvious that the people of the Foundation have made a lot of efforts to organize this trip, as for all other trips that you organize. It was an unforgettable experience; it is definitely the most beautiful and unique trip I have ever done. You treat us as equals, not as children… So, this letter is to thank the Foundation. To all of you I say thank you!” – Jeff. C.

 

“Thank you for doing what you do; this expedition was for me a unique opportunity, it changed my way of living my life. Since the expedition, not a single day goes by without me thinking about the expedition. It has been one of the most beautiful moments of my life and it will always warm my heart; it’s an experience that every teenager should have. The expedition was also very therapeutic for me; when I feel anxious, I remember all these beautiful moments on the river, and I am delighted. I now know that the best of remedies is in nature; after the trip I felt renewed, mentally and physically. Thank you so much.. What you do for teenagers is quite wonderful.” – Kyle B.

 

“These adventures have changed my life. They really helped me to accept my griefs, to move forward, to live again. It is difficult to explain the effect that nature, experience and the group accompanying us, have on our body and mind. They were like a breath of fresh air to us. They reinvigorated and energized us. The many challenges that nature offers us, such as rowing for several hours, sometimes against wind and currents, mountains to climb, the weather changing quickly make us realize that we are stronger than what we believed. During and after an expedition, one feels alive, proud and invincible because of all the efforts and achievements as well as the new experiences. We come back home with our heads up, filled with beautiful memories and love, stronger and better equipped to continue.” – Christine M.

 

“I never said it, but it was because of this Foundation that I continued to fight for healing. You gave me back the taste for life and thanks to you, I have experienced things that will remain forever etched in my heart and memory. I am extremely grateful to you. I became a primary school teacher. I have been with my boyfriend for five years and we are building a beautiful house. I am very happy and above all … in good health!!” – Émilie L.

 

“And here we are, almost at the end of this wonderful journey. There are only two days left, but I would like them to last forever. I would like to thank everyone for participating in this trip, both for the organization team and those like me, who were invited to make this crazy trip. I hope to see you all again. If it doesn’t happen, I want at least to wish you all the happiness and strength necessary to overcome your misfortunes. I would have liked to say this to you in person, but I am not a great speaker. Know that you will all be remembered and in my heart because your presence has made all the difference. Thank you for being you and for letting me be as I am, despite my bad times. Unknown at first, now friends for life!

Sincerely,” – Guy L. F.

 

“I would like to thank you and everyone for organizing the reunion, it was an awesome week. I really enjoyed everything the week had to offer from the activities to the group atmosphere. Thanks again for having me on the trip, it was an awesome experience. Take care,” – Kyle B.

 

“From this expedition, I have learned so much about myself including strengths I never knew I had. Humans have so many strengths and I think it depends on the situation as to which strength you need at the time.  I have changed so much over the course of this week. I started out afraid of other people, afraid of the experiences and afraid to let myself go, my confidence was shattered. I did not want to speak French in front of anyone because of embarrassment and I was afraid they would laugh at me. They did in fact laugh, but not at me, they were laughing with me. We ended up exchanging French and English lessons, the language barrier was broken. People would have conversations in French and then they would translate for me so that I was never left out. They all wanted me to be there and wanted me to be part of everything which I never saw happening when I first arrived.

I was able to relax and enjoy the experience. I am amazed at what I did: sleeping in sub-zero temperatures in a yurt; living without indoor plumbing; not having my cell phone; not being able to see my family every day; hiking 24 km in one day; taking my first ever helicopter ride onto ice sheets in the middle of nowhere to see baby seals; meeting new people; overcoming a language barrier; eating different foods; singing in front of strangers; and travelling by air, train and sea by myself. For all this I am so proud of myself. From this experience I have grown and become a stronger person, and I can honestly say I would do the whole thing all over again, even the emotional struggle.” – Laurie Y.

 

“The adventure on the Saguenay helped me to find a spiritual and mental balance, a deep love for life. We all expressed our feelings and spoke with our heart. There was a ‘soul to soul’ communication. Even with our relatives and friends, it is rare to have such true, vibrant and deep contacts. It was great. Thank you to the Foundation; continue your wonderful work.” – Jean-Pier F.

 

“First, it was the first time I travelled that far without a family member. In addition, Yukon and its wilderness have led me to question my ability to live this experience. During the dog sled expedition, I had to face the cold, fatigue; I had to push my limits and go to the end of my strength. I became aware of my abilities, the importance of the group, the strength and the perseverance that I had in me. It allowed me to meet other people who have fought cancer. This opportunity to share also allowed me to develop my strength of character and confidence in myself. I also put my stability to the test by leading the dog sled. Since then, I have shared my experiences with other young people during school meetings. In addition, I was honorary president of three blood drives that took place in my elementary and high school. Today, thanks to this experience, I have grown from it and I am very proud to have taken up the challenge of travelling in the Yukon wilderness.” – Marika A.-L.

 

“I met a group of strangers at an airport and, 8 days later, we are all great friends. During those 8 days we went through happy times, sad times and everything in between. The expedition has been an incredible experience and has made this summer one of the best I have ever had, even though I don’t speak the same language as everyone. The expedition couldn’t have gotten any better and I couldn’t have made better friends. Thanks for everything (including my birthday).” – Nathan A.

 

“Between Niapiskau and the Pointe aux morts I had a ‘challenge moment’. My arms were on fire and I could see others getting further away from us. I started thinking about my treatments and reliving the intimate moments I had with my friends and family. I realized that the support they gave me was not limited to my illness. So, with the thoughts of my friends and the encouragement of the gang and the love we have for our (On the Tip of Toes) family I have gone through the coolest test in my life. Thank you all.” – Brendan D.

 

“I would like to take these few lines to say how much this journey, this expedition, this dream, in short everything that this experience represents, has brought me. The end of my school year may have been a little sad and my early summer too, but thanks to On the Tip of the Toes I will be able to draw a line on this ordeal. In addition to this expedition in a heavenly place, to have regained my self-confidence and my physical abilities, I have met friends who are very dear to me and who, without them, this hike would never have been the same. I love you so much!” – Alex-Ann T.

 

“For me, this expedition was really beneficial both physically and psychologically. I regained confidence in my physical limits. I can now continue or rather resume my life. I have met extraordinary people, seen a beautiful corner of the country, and I am really happy to have participated. There are not enough words to really express my happiness!” – Sara H.

 

“At the table, at the beginning of the trip, everyone was eating with their nose on their plate without knowing what to say to others… And in the end, I would have liked to be sitting on every chair to talk to everyone at the same time. It’s the kind of trip that makes me move forward in life, I feel like I have grown so much during these two weeks. The kind of experience you offer is one that makes me appreciate being alive, I’ll remember forever.” – Catherine L.-D.

 

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been this relaxed, since I have appreciated the simple moments and forgot about my worries.” – Marie-Claude L.

 

“Thanks for everything I had an amazing time these past 12 days. I will never forget this adventure. You and everyone else have given me the confidence to go to Canadian Idol!” – Taryn B.

 

“Thanks to the Foundation for inviting me, I believe that after this experience I will be more aware of the comfort that I have at home and also that despite the illness, anything is possible.” – Vanessa B.

 

“It was super fun, a huge laugh. I had a blast! I loved hanging around the fire, It was so good I will never forget it. It was a challenge but I loved it and made a lot of friends on the trip.” – Corey H.

 

“That was a huge test for me. I had the chance to test my physical and my mental strength. I went through it and it was a blessing.” – Adam B.

 

“It has been months since I last conversed with you, and much has altered within me. I have been busy living, existing … just being. I am in a state of serene well-being. I have come to accept my experiences, and I have grown from them. My hair is now thick, dark and ridiculously curly. I am happy and it is a canonized sensation.” – Courtney  Alexandra R. C.

 

“My life is much better since I have returned. I have a new life: I take care of myself, I changed my lifestyle totally and I gained that trust thanks to you.

The Foundation is one of the best things I’ve ever known in my life. You have been awesome. I don’t know if you can just imagine for a moment the good that you do by taking the time to do this kind of expedition with young people. What I felt is really indescribable, really great. Now, I have more confidence in myself. I know that I can have a great future and that I can manage to have it, thanks to you all. Whenever I think of you and the experience I have lived, I tell myself that I am the luckiest and happiest person in the world.

You have been by far the people who have made the most difference in my life and I will never say thank you enough. There is something that will remain vivid: it is that often people believe that they must “lower to our level” to understand us; I lived this moment 100,000 times… But you, you think the opposite. I will remember those words all my life.” – Karollane D.

 

“It was insane. I haven’t been so hyper in 12 years. This trip really puts the life back into my heart.” – Scott R.

 

“It was the most wonderful experience of my life! We had fun every day and we got along well. The view of the mountains and snow-covered trees was so beautiful that I took pictures in my head of these beautiful landscapes.” – Cédrik E.

 

“The expedition is the best experience I’ve ever had and I will always remember it. The complicity and atmosphere that brought us together is memorable and unforgettable. Even if at times, our time at the hospital came back in our minds, we support and help each other to finish our expedition together.” – Albert T.

 

“It’s amazing how much good going on this expedition this summer has done me! In addition to facing many personal challenges, I have a ton of beautiful memories in my mind, new dreams and new friends. Even my body seems to be better since my return from the Missinaibi River; the symptoms of my illness are diminishing. I will always remember the well-being felt during the expedition.” – Roxane B.

 

 

“I really loved the trip; it was a chance of a lifetime. Best time of my life!” – Jyoti K. B.

 

 

“As I said on our second-last evening, for me an experience like this is a must. Going beyond myself, making new acquaintances and, of course, having fun during this expedition will remain etched in my memory forever. A BIG THANK YOU to the Foundation and to the whole team behind this expedition!!” – Francis P.

 

“This expedition couldn’t have been better! I did not believe in the therapeutic part at first, but eventually the adventure changed me, made me understand and learn so much about myself and others! I will leave tomorrow morning with you all! You do a great job and change the lives of many!” – Alexia N.

 

“I LOVED my weekend. I love the outdoors but since I am in treatment, I haven’t really had the chance to experience that. The places were beautiful and conducive to relaxation. We ate like royalty… I admit that I was rather impressed! Accommodation, equipment and preparation were perfect; it facilitated tranquility and helped to let go and enjoy the present moment. The stay wouldn’t have been so charming without these 13 new encounters … pleasant discussion, simple communication, easy and infectious laughter, sincerity present. A memorable trip that I would do again willingly and that I recommend to all.” – Sophie D. C.

 

“The journey is to leave the cage

To forget the rage

That was left in our wake.

Like a mirage,

We can see the shore.

A good omen

Chasing the clouds

Allowing turning the page

Towards a wiser future.” – Jeffrey P. F.

 

 

“When I go back home, I will remember every one of you, have a part of you in me until we meet in the other world. Whether it is the staff or the participants, everyone has been very endearing and I will regret having to leave you all.” – Ali A.A.

 

“It was amazing to meet such extraordinary young people, strong and resilient people who were willing to share their stories and take part in this week-long adventure with me.

The On the Tip of the Toes team and kayak guides was amazing. They were so welcoming, inclusive and accommodating. They created a wonderful atmosphere during this expedition and put all their energy and time to make sure that we could make the most of this experience. The whole trip was extremely well planned, from the plane tickets, to the meal to the technical equipment for sea kayaking. It was an amazing gift for me to be able to take part in this trip without having to pay a cent!

I found this wilderness expedition to be rejuvenating, refreshing and holistic, especially after a very difficult year in my life. It made me feel so good to be in the heart of nature while being surrounded by a very supportive group. I have fond memories of many authentic conversations, campfire parties, whale watching, and unique landscapes. I stayed in touch through Facebook with everyone I met during this expedition and I hope our paths will meet again someday.

I definitely recommend the On the Tip of the Toes Foundation expeditions to all. The combination of outdoor expedition, physical activity, genuine friendship, and fun is a winning recipe. I am so grateful to the organization for welcoming me in their expedition last year. I hope many more young people get to enjoy the rewarding and vibrant adventures that the Foundation offers.” – Allegra F. E.

 

“These adventures have changed my life. They really helped me to accept my griefs, to move forward, to live again. It is difficult to explain the effect that nature, experience and the group accompanying us, have on our body and mind. They were like a breath of fresh air to us. They reinvigorated and energized us. The many challenges that nature offers us, such as rowing for several hours, sometimes against wind and currents, mountains to climb, the weather changing quickly make us realize that we are stronger than what we believed. During and after an expedition, one feels alive, proud and invincible because of all the efforts and achievements as well as the new experiences. We come back home with our heads up, filled with beautiful memories and love, stronger and better equipped to continue.” – Christine M.

 

 

“Being away from home; my parents and family, challenging myself in terms of my strengths and capabilities and especially having the opportunity to be myself while trying new exciting things like flying on a plane by myself and in the end being able to say I climbed the mountain on my own. It made me believe that I am capable of accomplishing anything and everything. Thank you for such a great expedition and an amazing opportunity.” – Sara A. M.

 

“The expedition was great fun from start to finish. I have nothing but positive things to say and retain. I can even say that I did not expect to have so much fun. The staff was great and the participants too. What beautiful encounters and memories for everyone on this expedition. Congratulations to all who make these expeditions possible. Thank you!!!” – Joanie R.

 

“Much needed and appreciated! 5 stars!” – Ariane L.

 

“An experience beyond my expectations. The expedition was as surprising as it was rewarding. A huge THANK YOU to the whole team!!!! ” – Marie-Joel G. S.

 

“I want to thank you all for allowing me to be part of the expedition. I am very grateful! I had a lot of fun and you took good care of me hihi :). The activities were really fun and I enjoyed spending time with everyone! I already miss with the expedition :). Thank you very much, I love you all!! ” – Angélica D.

 

 

“Home from a life-changing experience with a group of wonderful people. Ten days of fun and extreeeeeeme bonding, along with the occasional rapid every now and then. I’m going to miss every single one of them very much and I will always have a special place in my heart and memory reserved for that wonderful expedition and all the people involved. For the first time in a little over five years I felt like the people I was with actually wanted me there, instead of just including me out of pity.

Very few life-changing events are for the better, but I think I can safely say that, for me at least, that was the most positive and most life-changing experience so far in my life. Dear participants and staff, thank you all. I love you, and I hope to hear from, or even see you soon.

Very soon, because I miss you already.” – Anthony S.

 

“Finally, back to my life … the past week just seems surreal. I went on the trip of a lifetime. The moment I got there I almost jumped on a bus back home I was so terrified. That would have been my greatest regret in life.

I never knew I could meet such incredible people and bond with them on such a deep level so quickly. Ten days was all it took and I made 29 of the most amazing friends I will ever have.

I just can’t put it in words how incredible the experience was. I surpassed myself on so many levels I never thought I would be able to. Faced many of my fears and insecurities and just kept on charging forward and slaying those dragons.

Thank you to all the guides, medical staff, participants and foundation staff. Even if we all had different titles, we were one group and it was the trip of a lifetime that I will never forget.” – Ariele W.

 

“Wow, what an adventure! I grew from the expedition. Everything was well prepared, and I really enjoyed every minute. I think we had an incredible group, and I feel really great having rubbed shoulders with every member of the team. Thank you so much to the Foundation for this expedition that changed my life. It helped me draw a line on many negative emotions.” – Aurélie V.G.

 

“The expedition was exactly what I needed in my life. It has been 2 years since my last dose of chemotherapy and I have had nothing but lows and lower lows. I have tried to connect with other cancer survivors before but my feeling of isolation and loss never changed. Not until I went on the expedition, never in my life have I ever felt so loved or comfortable with myself. I made 30 close friends and even chosen family. I have never been so close to anyone in my life, let alone multiple people. Everyone one on the expedition was an adult and had cancer as an adult; there is nowhere else in Canada where that can be found as far as I am aware. Another thing everyone had in common was we were all taking a leap of faith to do something completely out of our comfort zones. All of the staff who may not have cancer were so open and passionate and understanding. I have never felt so comfortable with my body and who I am, nor as loved as I have felt on this expedition.

When I left my home before the expedition, I felt isolated from the world, like I had nothing to work towards and was just trying to make it through each day. I felt like I depended more on my parents after cancer than I did as a 16 years old before cancer. Now, after the expedition I feel strong and independent again. I feel whole and truly happy. I know that I need to find something in my life to drive me to find the happiness and love I felt on the expedition. I learned what true happiness was and what it felt like to truly live in the moment with no regrets about the past or worries about the future. I feel like I am alive and I do not want that feeling to go away, I will do everything in my power to keep that feeling. The expedition, foundation and Magpie may have had the greatest impact to my life up to date. I am forever grateful. This is the most amazing foundation with the greatest capability of positively changing lives. Thank you so much to everyone that made this happen. I no longer feel impaired from my cancer experience. I have hope for the future. There is not one thing I would change about the entire process and expedition, not even the worst rain I have ever experienced! Merci, xoxo“ – Madison E.

 

“For once in my life, I felt as though I belonged somewhere with people. I felt as though I fit perfectly within one giant puzzle. I had no clue what day or time it was nor did I have any reflection of myself or body to compare in a mirror. I felt beautiful and confident and loved and at peace. I was truly and simply happy to its fullest extent and I was living in the moment. It felt incredible, physically I felt beautiful and strong, emotionally and psychologically I was able to address topics and feel them out and accept everything that was blocking me from happiness after cancer. This was the most incredible experience and I could not have imagined feeling so healthy in all 3 aspects!” – Madison E.

 

“Before I went on the expedition, I felt very dependent to my family and as though I was not in control of my life. Now, I have recognized how strong and independent I can be again and how strong and resilient I am as a person. I also got to see how strong and healthy my body is and what it is truly capable of again without stress or pressure! I went to the expedition feel broken physically and mentally, I left feeling incredibly strong and capable!” – Madison E.

 

“You’re all the ones I most admire, with great intentions and loving desires. Passion and trust and knowing that you all cared, brings a lifetime of happiness for us to share … in such a short time. Being so gentle, understanding, and kind, brings comfort, faith, and when love and friendship coincide this is truly a blessed event. Never going to forget you guys.” – Aaron D.H.

 

“The best time! Miss you all so much! The foundation works so hard and does so much good (:” – Roya G.

 

“I had the best time of my life!!!! This trip truly changed my life. I love all of you who shared it with me.” – Mario B.L.

 

“I’m glad I got on this trip and get to know everyone. It was such an amazing and one of kind trip, like the friends I made there. Such pure people in and out. Hope we can all see each other soon.” – Diego M.

 

“I came looking for serenity and nature gave it to me a hundredfold. And then, I rediscovered the capabilities of my body, of which I was a little afraid! ” – Valérie B.

 

“In one word, I am grateful for everything!!!!” – Alexia N.

 

“A few words may not be enough to describe an expedition of this magnitude. I just loved everything from the beginning to the end of this extraordinary adventure. The adventure facilitators are just exceptional and unique!! We had a very good chemistry in the group. In my opinion, it’s what made it possible to have as much pleasure and eased going through all the stages (Rain, Thunderstorm, portaging, preparation of the camp and to keep our good mood!!). Basically I’ve never had so much fun with people who understood me really well! THANKS AGAIN 1000 times!!” – Marc-André D.

 

“The expedition was beyond my expectations! The people and activities were amazing! ” – Jean-Christophe P.C.

 

 

“The expedition was such a great opportunity, the dog sledding was amazing—such an incredible feeling. Thank you for the experience; it will be something I will always remember.” – Colette B.

 

“Dogsledding was very fun and the people there were great. I never thought I would ever do something like this. I made some really good friends. Even though the weather was a bit cold, the equipment was good, so I was warm. Definitely a trip I will remember for the rest of my life!” – Noah S.

 

“There are no words to explain how much this trip has made an impact on me. One day, I want the group to get back together. I miss everyone.” – Merceades R.

 

“I learned so much during the expedition. I loved it and would go back without hesitation!” – Antoine M.

 

“I have recently experienced a trip of a lifetime… This was an amazing experience and I would do it again in a heart beat. I made so many new friends and in the end we were all like a giant family. At the beginning of the trip I was nervous as to what it was going to be like but I ended up having such a great time. A few of my favourite parts of the expedition were all the little things that made us all laugh, the snowball fights or shaking the snow off the trees onto each other or getting picked up and thrown in the deep snow and laughing so hard I couldn’t get out. When I think about the On the Tip of the Toes Foundation, I feel extremely lucky that I had the chance to be a part of such a great organization and I will always have the memories in my mind and a wonderful connection with the family I made.” – Tabitha P.

 

 

“I just had one of the best weeks of my life. I met great people with whom I had a lot of fun. I am really happy to have participated in this expedition. A big thank you to the On the Tip of the Toes Foundation!” – Janny M.

 

 

“Today we sat down together and had a very connecting experience. So many people have gone through the same things I’ve been through so it’s already brought me so much closer to these people that I met a few days ago. There were so many emotional stories, but what most people said at the end was that they all appreciated their experiences because of the perspective it gave them in life. I feel the exact same way, and it’s so good to find people who understand me. I feel so emotional right now that I don’t know if I can finish this. These people are so incredible, and have touched my heart so much, they will never leave it.” – Mariam A.

 

“One can love what frightens him. You can be afraid of what you love. In the end, love is the strongest.” – Samuel L.-S.

 

“During the expedition, we sat in a circle to talk about our cancer and our emotions. All along I cried; I was so moved by the story of others. At first, I did not want to talk about my cancer because I never accepted the fact that I had it. Once I talked about it, I felt good because I felt that everyone was listening to me and understood me. This week, I had an unforgettable experience and I will not forget you! I would like to thank the On the Tip of the Toes Foundation. Thank you for giving me the opportunity for an unforgettable experience and for making me meet great people.” – Tamara A.

 

“Sometimes I feel like I don’t connect as much as I do with people who didn’t go through the same thing as me. The people I met on this expedition are so awesome. I almost feel lucky to have been sick so I could do all this and meet those awesome survivors.” – Anonymous

 

“This is a very important quote we all should know: “It’s called CANcer not CANTcer”. We all survived this. We can conquer anything. Believe in yourself and you can do whatever you put your mind to. You guys are the best! – Jennifer W.

 

“I wanted to say a special thank you to all of you. It was such an amazing week! I will remember this expedition for my whole life!” – Marine B.-P.

 

“I want to take this time to thank everyone, the participants, volunteers and the leaders!

To all the participants: you guys are amazing, we all opened up to each other. We showed that there is hope and that we all can be happy. We had this amazing opportunity to get to know each other, build trust and then share this fun experience. As Mario said, we are gaining new perspective on life in general.

To the volunteers/leaders: Thank you so much for everything you’ve done for us this week. You were always there for us, made this week unforgettable. Dog sledding was one of the best things to ever experience, the dogs loved us, we loved them, like dog therapy! Doing this adventure let me gain my independence back and just be happy. On the sleds, gaining air in our faces, it was freeing! Gave us the chance to just forget and live in the moment. Thank you for all the new experiences for that I’ll be forever grateful!

You guys are so sweet and overall happy, amazing people! Forever grateful to call you my friends! Stay strong! Stay happy!” – Jennifer W.

 

‘Everything has been truly spectacular—the people, dogs, nature and adventure. It’s been immeasurably fulfilling and I am so grateful to everyone who made this opportunity possible. I will surely never forget this & I will hold these experiences close to my heart as long as I live. As Marjorie said, our backpacks are getting bigger as we grow and discover new adventures.” – Anonymous

 

“Thank you all & I wish everyone an amazing, long life. Love and admire you all so deeply.” – Kaelyn M.

 

“I want to thank everyone involved in this expedition. Having each day full of adventure, jokes, good people and well, of course, the dogs made such a special experience. I feel like this trip is another important part of the healing process in our journeys. I deeply appreciate all the effort put into this by the foundation and the volunteers who were able to make this happen for us. I feel too grateful to have been a part of this expedition. I will miss everyone so much and our adventures will not be forgotten.” – Kiera O’C.

 

“I would first like to thank all the people who made this trip happen. All your hard work truly made this trip special, which is very remarkable. But how could we have had this trip without all the great people? We all had a mutual sickness in our past, I leave happy knowing we have found peace from this tragic time. Leaving this trip, I can proudly say I feel so connected to everyone, from the adventures to the stories, this truly was the journey of a lifetime. I know we are saying goodbye but I will never forget this trip and all the special people I have met. I leave missing you all but I know it is not goodbye, only see you later.” – Nolan McL.

 

“This was an experience I will never forget. The people were amazing, and I had such a good relationship with each person in the expedition. It was such a fulfilling experience. I have gained new friends, new skills, and have become more accepting of being sick. I am going to miss each of you so much.” – Kathelyn “Katie” S.

 

“I would have liked to talk to you sooner, but I was quite surprised to see you and it was busy at the clinic.  In short, I still want to thank you and the group for the great experience in Charlevoix; I sincerely believe that it had a great positive impact on my life.

Last summer I went to Spain alone for 1 ½ month with a big backpack to walk almost 1000 km on the Camino of Santiago. This is without a doubt one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I had the chance to meet people from all over the world and to discover a culture that was unknown to me. Thanks to the taste of adventure that you made me discover in Charlevoix, I had the courage to leave for this crazy adventure. You lit the tiny flame for expeditions that made me discover how to build what is now among my best memories.

In short, you have succeeded with me; you have triggered in me a small reaction pushing me now to exceed my limits and to make my wildest dreams come true. I am extremely grateful.” – Nathaniel J.