La genèse de la Fondation Un bec soufflé…

In the summer of 2018, I was diagnosed with breast cancer… Do you remember the famous cancer ad? The one where everyone falls on their backs upon learning the diagnosis? And that is exactly how it goes. Your life is completely turned upside down… Having cancer is like doing an Ironman without preparation… an obstacle course where you have to go through the stages of diagnosis, so my journey has been chemotherapy, preoperative tests, the operation, and radiotherapy… 

When I was starting my first treatments, I was warned to be very careful not to catch viruses because they could be more fatal than the cancer itself since my immune system would be very weakened by the chemotherapy. 

When meeting with my family, friends, co-workers or those around me, I had to ask them to keep a distance, or else I had to advise anyone that they just couldn’t give me a hug, or give me a kiss, or even give me a handshake. Explaining my condition every time was not always easy and sometimes very exhausting. And yes, then, life was very different from what we live today with the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was back then that I told myself that I had to do something to make people aware of the health risks of immunosuppressed people. I then imagined that the best way to raise awareness could be through the creation of a symbol or an image… by a simple logo which, at the very beginning, was the representation of a small hand blowing a beak.

Being immunosuppressed, my family and friends did not always understand that I had few defences against the risk of infections and that, therefore, their behaviour and attentions, despite all the love they meant, were actually a threat to me. 

It took a little sinusitis after my second treatment to experience this peril and all the worry that came with it. Hospitalized for 3 days, I really had to go ahead with my idea and create this foundation in order to catch the attention of people not living with this reality, I had to make them aware of the importance of benevolence, respect, prevention, compassion as well as mutual aid to immunosuppressed people.

My idea has evolved a lot since that time… The little hand has become a little character blowing a beak!! Obviously, the arrival of the Coronavirus meant that the logo and its use had to be redesigned in order to conform to the new reality the pandemic brought in. Currently, our logo is even more relevant and must be recognized by everybody quickly in order to protect immunosuppressed people.

Now in remission, I have decided to dedicate myself in building this work from my experience with a wonderful team of people who listened to me, accompanied me throughout this journey and who dedicate themselves with me so that, in a near future, this small logo will become a symbol of protection.

Danielle Gaudreault