Testimonial: Thierri Barbieux, survivor

We feel like ambassadors

The Survivors are the heroes of the weekend during the Relay for Life. Survivors are all the people who are fighting cancer or have defeated the illness. Thierri Barbieux, chair of the Mymu Association (for patients with multiple myeloma), was present in Tournai in June. Discover Relay for Life through the eyes of a Survivor.

We share unforgettable moments

“The whole weekend long various special moments take place in honour of us, starting with the reception. In the evening a dinner is organised for the Survivors and their partner or companion. Relay for Life is a festive event full of wonderful moments. It’s fantastic to see how people’s eyes shine, and the smile that is fixed on their faces. Stronger bonds are also formed with caregivers.”

The opening ceremony

“Comedian Bruno Coppens, godfather of the Tournai Relay for Life, hosts the official opening of the event. Together we take the first lap. The applause from the public warms our hearts and brings up many emotions. We feel like ambassadors, representatives of all the patients who fight cancer every day.

Then those close to us join us, people who support us every day: spouses, partners, volunteers, social workers... It’s really a joy to see them walk along with us. Personally I think that the spouses and partners of people affected by cancer also deserve the title ‘Survivor’. They too are put to the test daily. Cancer turns their whole life upside down too. They are our support and mainstay the whole time.”

Sunday, the Survivors’ breakfast

“Everything is free for the Survivors: the breakfast, the dinner on Saturday, the various activities... The organisation committee, the Survivors themselves and the volunteers put their best foot forward to find as many sponsors as possible, to cook, etc. Everyone is 100% involved in bringing this event to a successful completion.”

The stand of team Chtis

“This team is an initiative of my daughters, Caroline and Séverine. They have involved many of their friends. There are also a number of representatives from the Mymu association. Every team member is involved in his own way. Hats off to all the teams for their presence, their involvement, their good humour... Thanks to them there is a variety of drinks, food and activities. There’s no question of competition. Everyone has the same goal: to collect as much money as possible for cancer research!”

Great teamwork

“All the Survivors do their absolute best to collect funds against cancer. Anyone who is involved in the organisation of Relay for Life lives with the event for about six months. I was certainly not alone. It was really the work of a team! Relay for Life mobilises so many people, members of the organisation committee, Survivors, volunteers, caregivers, city officials and merchants... Whether we were selling bracelets at flea markets, beating down the doors of shops for sponsoring... we were warmly received everywhere. That spirit of solidarity and generosity really touches you. A few high points of Relay for Life that I will never forget? Those are undoubtedly the emotional moments: Mélanie Cohl’s concert, the Luminaria Ceremony and certainly also the speech of a young Survivor, who really spoke volumes about the road she has travelled and how happy she is to still be here.”

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