Gear Up For A Virtual Challenge & Participate In The Walk To Make Cystic Fibrosis History

On Sunday, May 31, 2020,over 10,000 supporters, including volunteers, donors, partners and participants will help support Cystic Fibrosis Canada’s mission ₋ to end Cystic Fibrosis (CF). The funds raised at the Walk are used to target world-class research and to support and advocate for high-quality individualized CF care.

Cystic Fibrosis Canada National states that, “Due to the unprecedented global situation in regard to COVID-19 pandemic, Cystic Fibrosis Canada has made the decision to move the Walk to Make Cystic Fibrosis History to a virtual format. The Virtual Walk will allow you to participate anywhere in Canada and to complete your walk, your way, on your own time.”

Due to COVID-19, Cystic Fibrosis Canada notes, “you may not be able to get out and walk this year, so be creative in your choice of activity for the Walk to Make Cystic Fibrosis History: Virtual Challenge.”

Participants can walk solo, or join a team. Once registered, participants can decide on their own personal challenge to #walkyourway4CF.

Gear Up For A Virtual Challenge & Participate In The Walk To Make Cystic Fibrosis History
Cathy’s Dance Studio team, back in May 2018, on walk day. Cathy Lassaline can be seen seated on the far right. Photo courtesy of Cystic Fibrosis Windsor.

One of the hard working 2020 Walk Leaders, Cathy Lassaline of Cathy’s Dance Studio (220 B Foster Avenue, Windsor; 5994 Malden Road LaSalle), first became aware of Cystic Fibrosis when her friendship blossomed with France Monette (also a 2020 Walk Leader) over 45 years ago.

“Goodness is about character, integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, and moral courage,” states Lassaline. “My best friend, France, is the epitome of authenticity and goodness. She radiates light and kindness; she is sunshine in human form.”

Lassaline goes on to say, “When I became involved with the CF Canada Windsor Chapter last year, I volunteered because CF affected her family. Her sisters Claude and Natalie lived with Cystic Fibrosis and she witnessed all the ups and downs that are involved with having this disease. When her sister passed away, almost three years ago, a small part of my friend left with her. In the midst of the sadness and grief, she never lost that sunshine and the unwavering desire to extend kindness and understanding wherever she went. After that moment, I began to think of ways to honour her compassion and loving heart.”

Gear Up For A Virtual Challenge & Participate In The Walk To Make Cystic Fibrosis History
Best friends forever and leaders for the Windsor LaSalle CF Walk, France Monette (left) and Cathy Lassaline, are pictured in May 2019 at the walk. Photo by Gabrielle Dufresene.

As a result, the dance instructor decided that volunteering with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation was the perfect way to bring about change with a smile, a kind word, a little bit of laughter, and a lot of awareness to the community, in order to honour brave people and their families.

At Cathy’s Dance Studio, she promotes the walk and all her dancers know she supports this cause for her friend, but also because of all the people she has met in the last few years who are living with CF.

Lassaline introduces young dancers to a variety of dance genres, while teaching them acceptance, teamwork, and the importance of paying it forward. She also instills in these dancers the value of helping others, as well as being committed not only to dance, but to a cause bigger than themselves.

The dancers are encouraged to raise money for the walk. Last year they started with raffles etc. and their walk team members wear shirts that read “Dancing to end CF”. Last year, from these raffles and donation boxes, they raised enough money to cover the cost of renting the Vollmer Complex for the walk.

There are also banners hanging at each location with the words, “We Walk in Memory of Natalie and Claude Monette”.

Lassaline believes “We should all give back in whatever way that we can. It is how we are remembered; the difference we make in whatever way we choose is what matters.” 
Great advice indeed.

Getting back to the 2020 virtual walk, you might be curious as to how this will work? Well, participants can walk in their homes or in their own neighbourhoods etc. Who they walk with will depend on what restrictions (physical distancing) are being implemented at that time.

With many events cancelled due to COVID-19, here is one way you can help the community in Windsor Essex! What are you waiting for? Register for the Walk now under “Windsor LaSalle” and be ready at 9:30 a.m. on May 31 to help support this worthy charity!

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