In the dead of winter, 11 « Sourire a la vie » children aged 10 to 18 and 5 of their group leaders (including doctors and nurses) live an incredible adventure : a dog-sled expedition through north Canada.
After tough training sessions in camps, they are ready to push the limits of their disease to cross the icy lakes and canadian forests in extreme conditions for a 5-day 200km dog-sled ride.
Riding in the snow, taking care of the dogs, crossing icy lakes, sleeping by the forrest, starting a camp fire, eating. A fantastic experience of life in the open.
Elisa, back from the expedition in 2015, told us with eyes full of stars « I am sad to have to leave the dogs. They have guided me, they have driven me in every possible way. They have protected me. I discovered there were many things I don’t need like running water, a comfortable bed, electricity and electronic devices. I have discovered I could be happy without comfort. »
A beneficial adventure for the health of children affected with cancer :
The experience turns out to be beneficial for the children affected with cancer. Such is Jean-Claude Genet’s testimony (JC Genet is a leukemia specialist and president of Sourire à la vie. He was present during the expedition) . « For the children undergoing treatment, this exceptional confrontation with nature reinforces their capacity to adapt to the constraints of the disease and to the treatment. For those who are finished with the therapy, it is an outstanding chance to rediscover their physical and mental capacities. This type of experience also improves the evolution of medical habits and promotes adapted physical activities for children affected with cancer. »
« Breathtaking landscapes, a simple life, snow, ice. Comfort following every effort. Slopes to climb, slopes to ride, some tricky twists…and then back to the camp, wooden cabins, tents, cutting wood, cooking, eating to keep up the pace. Smiles, exhaustion, laughter…a dream. We have trained, we have worked hard towards this dog-sled expedition in Canada but nobody could have imagined such a thing. It is troubling, we feel like keeping still for the rest of our lives just for the sake of keeping the memory intact. » Talulah, 15, affected with a Ewing tumor.