2018 Cedars Ride for Hope and Gratitude
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History

 

ENSIGN EWART RESEARCH FUND

The Mission of the Ensign Ewart Research Fund is to advance research into cell therapy and immunotherapy for blood cancers under the Cedars-Laneuville Cell Therapy Initiative.

The fund was created in memory of William Ewart Callard (1924-1981), and is administered by his son Robert Callard, who continues to see him as a mentor and guiding light long after his passing. Robert, himself, is a cancer survivor.

William Ewart Callard
William Ewart Callard

William Ewart Callard was a Montreal businessman and historian who taught his children the importance of charity and a humble respect for those less fortunate.

The Ensign is used to describe heraldry, in which William had a passionate interest. It symbolizes tradition, family values and community.

“We make a living by what we get… but we make a life by what we give.”
- Winston Churchill

 

THE STORY OF RIDE OF HOPE AND GRATITUDE

In early 2009, overweight and tired of feeling unwell and lethargic, I set out to finally abandon dieting and adopt a lifestyle that I hoped would last a lifetime. Getting on a bike and riding every night helped me to improve my physical fitness and lose more than 80 pounds in two years.

In September 2009, and thanks to the weight loss, I discovered a tumour on my abdomen which was quickly diagnosed as an advanced form of incurable but treatable non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. A set-back from the positive changes that had taken place that year, but I was willing to face this challenge head-on.

In 2011, a year after successfully completing my treatments, including having my stem cells harvested and banked away, I decided it was time to get back on the bike and turn my passion into a fund-raising initiative.

Rob Ride Image 2019In 2012, I decided to form a team within the Ride to Conquer Cancer, and we aptly named it Team Hope and Gratitude. These are the words I live by everyday, and they are a constant reminder of the hope that we conquer this complicated disease, and the gratitude for life and for the wonderful people I have met and surround me in my life.

At the end of 2018, I was faced with the unfortunate return of my lymphoma, and am now in treatments to eradicate the disease for a second time. After some complications from the nature of the strain, I have had the good fortune to be overseen by our very own Dr. Pierre Laneuville, who has proven to be instrumental in the quick diagnosis and treatment of my relapse. I can only say that I have now had first hand exposure to the incredible team of doctors and caregivers at the Cedars Cancer Centre, and of course the painstaking work they do everyday to help understand this insidious disease.

I am also happy to report that the stem cells that I had banked away in 2012 will be used for a stem cell transplant this year, and that the long term prognosis is excellent for a full return to health. I cannot stress the gratitude that I feel for what Dr. Laneuville and the Cedars team have gifted to me.

Since 2009, I have participated in 15 charity events, and have personally raised more than $350,000 for cancer-related research. More than 50 individuals have become members of our team over the past six years, and we have forged lifelong friendships out of this. The culture of “HG” as we call it, keeps growing and I am proud to share it with all of those who show an interest. Collectively, my charity events have now raised in excess of $700,000.

My partnership with the Cedars Cancer Foundation is the next logical step in the Hope and Gratitude journey. A wonderful organization which understands the meaning of these words, and a perfect fit to ensure that my mission to raise money for cancer research continues.

Please join us for the 3rd Annual Cedars Ride for Hope and Gratitude, September 13-15 2018 and let’s make history together.

The journey continues in Bromont QC, September 2019!

We can. We will.

Warm regards,
Rob Callard