Bruce at the finish line interviewed by Radio-Canada

Monday, August 6th, Bruce has finished his long journey crossing Canada at Stanley Park in Vancouver. La Force team, Anakin’s family and other families affected by DMD were eagerly waiting for Bruce. They were all there to welcome him and sincerely say thank you. He pedalled over 4457 km in 31 days. He faced the heat, the mountains, wild animals and winds to raise awareness about DMD to Canadiens and raise money.

 

To raise awareness about the drug approval process

Cycling across Canada is symbolic. The drug approval process affects all of Canada. Patients affected by DMD and other rare diseases are facing the same problem from one coast to the other. Canada does not have a framework for drug approval for rare diseases.

 

Interview on Radio-Canada

When Bruce arrived, he and, Marie-Catherine Du Berger, La Force’s president and Anakin’s mother, were interviewed by Marc-Éric Bouchard for the show “Les retours de l’Ouest” at Radio-Canada.

 

Here you can watch the interview:

 

Here are a few passages of the interview with Bruce Babington and Marie-Catherine Du Berger:

 

Marc-Éric Bouchard (radio host): Tell us about the beginning of the adventure, how did you decide to undertake this challenge, this bike crossing?

Bruce Babington: In my life, I wanted to do this journey. When I started to treat Anakin, my patient, I came up with the idea of the challenge to raise funds, donations, I’m sorry, and also to raise awareness about the disease in Canada. And also, for La Force Foundation. So, at a dinner, I told my friends about going across Canada between Mont-Tremblant and Vancouver. This idea is a bit unreal, it’s quite an experience!

Marc-Éric Bouchard (radio host): What have you learned about yourself during this journey? Did you learn things you didn’t know about yourself as a therapist?

Bruce Babington: I always think about my patients, the best method to treat patients, especially like Anakin. It’s hard to tell because when you’re pedalling, the only thing you think much of is to reach the next town. It’s surprising because I thought I would have more time to think about other things, but curiously, when the days are quite long, it’s very hard, it’s very hot, the wind is strong also…I didn’t think a lot. It’s really about: look at your pedals, look at your wheels. I didn’t have a lot of time to think about other things.

Marc-Éric Bouchard (radio host): Is there a meaning with his name Anakin and Star Wars? The meaning with La Force, what is it?

Marie-Catherine Du Berger: Anakin is our inspiration for the Foundation. When you learn about this disease diagnosis, you realize that there is nothing much you can do, and that hope lies in the future treatments to come. It’s a bit like the work we do with La Force Foundation: engage everyone for the moment treatments will come to Canada…Because we’re a bit late, in Canada, regarding this disease. There is no effective treatment yet, but there are more treatments to come. There is one that has been approved in the United States, one that has been approved in Europe and that is different. For us, the purpose of La Force is to raise awareness and try to get ready to encourage faster approvals. This is not only the case for DMD, every rare disease also has almost the same treatment for drug approvals. Here in Canada, we have huge gaps. It really matters to us.

Many thanks go to Marc Fournier and Marc-Éric Bouchard for giving us exposure throughout Canada. Note that August 6th is a holiday in British Columbia. So, it’s been a great opportunity for our event. We also say a big thank you from the bottom of our hearts to Bruce for endorsing our cause in taking up the personal challenge he wanted to achieve for a long time. Beyond the funds raised for researches, this bike crossing gives hope for Canadian families living their everyday life with DMD.

 

You still can support Bruce for his bike crossing by making a donation.