After losing two close friends to brain cancer, an Environment and Resource Studies student has started an annual grassroots fundraiser to build awareness for brain cancer research.
Madeline (Maddi) Leblanc started the stand-up paddleboarding fundraiser, On Board, last summer to help members in her community affected with brain cancer. Funds generated from the event supported the Canadian Cancer Society for brain cancer research.
The first-year student was inspired to give back to her community while honouring friends she had lost. In On Board's first year, Maddi paddled on her own.
Creating On Board made me realize the amazing things that I was capable of doing on my own, and that if you truly set your mind to something, you can achieve it. I have learned to take this attitude towards school and it has helped to be be very successful so far in my first year. – Maddi Leblanc
With the overwhelming support she has received, including the number of community members asking to join her, Maddi is now encouraging others to paddle with her for this year's 10 km paddle down the Welland Canal in Welland, Ont., on July 23.
Maddi says she couldn’t have achieved what she has without the support from her sponsors, family and friends - but our words can only say so much. To really understand the impact of this fundraiser, take a look at Maddi’s story on YouTube.
To find out how you can get involved, you can email Maddi or get in touch with her through the On Board Facebook page.