I Run for Cody: supporting young adults and teens with cancer

At 19, when Cody Michael Bouchard started chemotherapy, he received a backpack from the VOBOC Foundation packed with tools, resources and practical items to see him through treatment of his Osteo Ewing Sarcoma cancer. This gift, valued at $250, meant so much to him. The fact that someone he had never met cared enough to offer support for him and his journey was deeply touching to Cody. Sadly, after a valiant battle, the cancer came back with a vengeance and Cody passed away in February of 2020. 

At home, when his parents went through Cody’s things, they found a list that Cody had written of things to do when he beat cancer again: he wanted to mentor others and help cancer-stricken kids. In his honour, the Cody Michael Bouchard Fund was created to make sure his wishes became a legacy. 

Cody’s family has a big community of support who were there for him and his family. Now they carry forward Cody’s wishes through the Cody Michael Bouchard Fund. I RIDE FOR CODY was started and now the I RUN FOR CODY team has been created. 

“People who knew Cody use incredible words to describe him: disciplined, humble, generous, kind, a leader,” Doreen Edward, VOBOC Foundation’s Founder observes.

Cody’s mother Elaine, his father David, and his brother Kyle will be running the Scotiabank Ottawa Half Marathon this year, and coast-to-coast-to-coast Canadians have picked up the challenge to support young adults and teens with cancer.

On day one of treatment, each youth gets a backpack and the VOBOC Foundation follows them through their cancer journey, no matter the outcome. For 20 years, they have provided support through seven McGill Hospitals in Montreal, Quebec. 

“We haven’t witnessed the reactions of all of the thousands of youth who have received their VOBOC Vo-Pak from their oncology teams, but we know that equipping patients with the right tools, resources and support helps break isolation and improves patient experiences,” says Edward, “To Cody this gift meant so much. Through the I RUN FOR CODY campaign, we will be able to help more teens and young adults who are just beginning their cancer journeys.” 

So far more than 60 people are registered to run or walk different distances at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend, at their own pace. More are expected to join through May.

Are you ready to join the I RUN FOR CODY team and fundraise to support adolescents and young adults undergoing cancer treatments? Sign up here!