Started in 2003 by Archie T. Cifelli, the FÍte de quartier Val-des-Brises has evolved. In 2017, more than 5,000 people participated in the festivities. This year, more participants are expected to attend the September 16th event at Parc du Royale-22-e-Rťgiment from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

FÍte de Quartier Val-des-Brises
The purpose of this celebration is to create a sense of belonging to the community. "It's a chance for all the citizens and residents of Val-des-Brises and Val-des-Arbres to spend time together with their families," says Cifelli. In addition to being the president of the FÍte de quartier Val-des-Brises, he is the Executive Vice-President of the Kloda Focus Group, a company specializing in sound and lighting equipment that offers service and quality equipment for a variety of events.

The idea came to him when he noticed that several young families lived in his neighborhood of Val-des-Brises. He wanted to make a day in which children could have fun and meet in a positive atmosphere. After contacting some influential people to ask permission, he realized the event might be much bigger than his original idea. He and his family, friends, and committee are working hard to make the FÍte de quartier Val-des-Brises one not to be missed. ďYou have to get involved to create great things,Ē he says. He also emphasizes the importance of volunteering. "Whether it's five minutes, five hours or five days, it makes a huge difference," he says.

In 2017, the FÍte de quartier Val-des-Brises raised funds for Fondation Citť de la Santť. This year, the funds raised will be donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada (LLSC). "Thanks to the Light the Night Walk the day before, we will have two days to raise money for LLSC," says Cifelli.

A Neighbourhood Party Like No Other
Unlike other neighbourhood festivals, the FÍte de quartier Val-des-Brises attracts families living in Montreal, too. ďNeighbourhood families invite family members who live elsewhere," says Cifelli. "We are getting people from Saint-Lťonard and other parts of Montreal.Ē

There will be something for the whole family. A stage will be set up at Parc du Royal-22e-Rťgiment on which a popular music group will perform. There will be a DJ, and the canine squad and their mascot will be present, too. Families will be able to meet firefighters, and explore both an old and a new fire truck. There will be eight inflatable games face paint stations for children. Laval Scientastique will be there, as well. Pony rides and moving trains will be available and the mascot of the Laval Rockets will be there. Food and drinks will also be offered. Exhibitions and 33 kiosks will allow people to get to know their neighbourhood and find out more about the day camps and other activities offered in Laval.

Light the Night 2018
The day before FÍte de quartier Val-des-Brises, September 15th, a community walk will be held to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada (LLSC). This annual fundraising walk is a way to come together for a meaningful cause. "When someone is diagnosed with blood cancer, it's hard to see the light on a daily basis. With Light the Night, we want to bring brightness and hope to patients' lives,Ē says Alyssa Brandone, Senior Coordinator of Financial Resources for LLSC, and cancer survivor.

Participants can expect a wonderful moment of solidarity and hope during which they will walk carrying an illuminated lantern. Each lantern has a meaning. "The golden lantern is in memory of loved ones lost to cancer. The white lantern is a tribute to survivors and cancer patients. The red lantern means supporting the cause, "says Brandone. They are expecting more than 800 participants on September 15th at the Parc Royal-22e-Rťgiment at 6:30 pm. "The walk lasts one hour and thirty minutes," says Brandone.

The event is very inclusive. Anyone can participate in the walk whether you have special needs or not. You can even bring your children and pets. "It's an evening of celebration and hope," says Brandone. Aimed at the whole family, the Light the Night Walk will be a memorable night with music, snacks and inspiring entertainment.

During this community walk organized by volunteers, you will see Brandone holding a white lantern. She is a survivor of acute myeloid leukemia, currently in total remission for her 17th year. Since 2007, it is with passion that she participates in the walk to contribute to the search for a cure against cancers and other blood diseases.

This year is the first time the walk will take place in Laval. In previous years, despite the fact that the event was held in Montreal, many Laval residents participated. Thanks to the members of the FÍte de quartier Val-des-Brises Party Committee who have already taken part in the walk, Laval residents will be able to participate for the first time in this memorable walk just steps from home.

Take part in this powerful, moving and inspiring event in your community and sign up at lightthenight.ca.

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada
This year, the FÍte de quartier Val-des-Brises Party Committee voted to support the LLSC. For Cifelli, it was a personal choice, as well. "There are two people in my neighbourhood who have been touched by cancer, like spokesperson Patricia Durante," he says.

Founded in 1955 in Toronto, the organization's mission is to find a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, while improving the quality of life for patients and their families. Leukemia is a blood cancer that starts in blood stem cells. There are four main types of leukemia: acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). The most common leukemia types in adults are acute myeloblastic leukemia and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. In 2017, more than 6,000 Canadians were diagnosed with leukemia, according to the Canadian Cancer Society.

Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system, which protects the body from diseases and infections Ė making it one of the most important parts of the immune system. In the case of a diagnosis of lymphoma, it is possible to have several cancers in several places in the body because the lymphatic system is present throughout the body. There are two categories of lymphoma: Hodgkinís lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). In 2017, nearly 1,000 Canadians were diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma and 8,300 Canadians were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Endless Services
In 2017, the LLSC invested approximately $7.4 million to create programs and services to help and improve the lives of people with blood cancers across Canada. Of that investment, $4 million has been invested in research.

The list of services and support offered to patients by the LLSC is endless. For example, there are 15 active support groups across Canada, information programs on various topics related to blood cancer, a class return program to help teachers and parents with children returning to school following cancer treatment, information sessions for patients, caregivers, families and health professionals, data collection for all reports and statistics related to blood cancers, and the creation and distribution of information guides. These resources are offered free of charge.

Overall, the LLSC helps patients deal with their illness and move forward. All funds raised on September 15th, during the Light the Night Walk and on September 16th, during the FÍte de quartier Val-des-Brises, will go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada. Do not hesitate to register and support this important cause.

The story of Patricia Durante
At 26, Patricia Durante had the perfect life. She was married, had just bought a house with her husband, and was pregnant with her first child. Everything changed when she was in her 26th week of pregnancy. During a routine test, she found out that she had acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML). She started a very intense chemotherapy treatment, knowing her baby was protected by the placenta. But after two months in remission, the disease returned.

Durante read a pregnancy book where she discovered that umbilical cord blood can be stored and used to treat cases of leukemia. "I knew right away that my daughter had been sent to save my life," Durante says. She then began the fight to preserve her childís cord blood.

At 31 weeks of pregnancy, Durante was forced to deliver her daughter. Weighing only 3.5 pounds, Victoria Angel was born on September 2nd, 2001. Durante then began another round of aggressive chemotherapy treatment. Durante suffered from vomiting, hair loss and the trauma of being separated from her newborn child.

"Then, there was September 11th. I thought it was the end of the world. I was having a nightmare,Ē she says. Her chances of survival were low and the only thing that could save her was a bone marrow transplant. For a successful transplant, you need a perfect and compatible match Ė her daughterís cord blood was indeed a perfect match. She had to fight to use it for her herself as the odds of the transplant being successful were low, but Durante fought hard. "I never gave up," she says. With the cord blood, they used pure stem cells to treat Durante through experimental procedures. In March 2002, Durante was successfully in remission Ė there was no longer a trace of cancer in her system.

"I gave life to my daughter, and she saved my life in return," says Durante. Now 17-years-old, Victoria Angel and her mother have a great relationship. Every year, Durante and her family take part in the FÍte de quartier Val-des-Brises. She has previously been a spokesperson for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada, and for the Light the Night Walk. This year, she will speak at the community walk on September 15th.

Translated by Maria Barillaro