How did you end up connecting with Swab The World?
JF: My sister, Marie-Christine, had Hodgkin’s lymphoma and three relapses. I was not a compatible donor, but the doctors found someone in Germany who was. I am touched to see that, 18 years later, she is still alive and completely cancer free. When I heard Mai’s story, I was moved, and we got an amazing feeling with Mai and Christiane. They are genuine and amazing people. We decided it was a good project for us to bring our creativity and vision together to give back a bit.
S: Did your sister meet her donor?
JF: Yeah, my sister’s donor, Sabine, came to Trois-Rivières from Germany, and they spent a week together.
L: That’s really cool.
JF: They spent a couple of days together. I’m amazed people are able to meet the person whose life they saved. When they bring the box of bone marrow it’s wild, but it works. I was 22 when she got diagnosed. I was doing my internship for my bachelor’s degree and had to go home because I just thought she would die, but 18 years later she is still alive. After three relapses, many people would have given up and said they might not be tough enough to go through chemo, losing your hair, and so on.
S: I think it’s amazing how you can find your genetic match living in a completely different country, and they can end up saving your life.
JF: The craziest part is that it’s been made for white people, and realizing this is troubling. That’s why we were so moved by Swab The World’s initiative. If we can even do a little thing to help, then that’s what we want to do.
L: We hope people will go on the website and learn a lot about swabbing. It helps having real-life stories. I got swabbed a few years ago when I heard Mai’s story because it touched me. That’s why we also wanted to create a website that was different, something people will share because they think it’s cool. The more people share it, the more people will get to see these stories and perhaps swab.