Dedicated individuals

AMEI and Julien Boulanger

AMEI and Julien Boulanger: fighting cancer as a family—with hope

“The seed for Projet Espoir (Project Hope) was planted on the day my father-in-law, Daniel, my partner Julien Boulanger’s father, was diagnosed with cancer of the lymph nodes. We often feel powerless when we’re handed news like a cancer diagnosis, so I started thinking about what I could do to make a difference.

I’m a singer-songwriter-composer and Julien is a composer, guitarist, and musical arranger. The idea of writing a song for my father-in-law seemed obvious, but I wanted to do something even bigger! So, I started talking about my project of composing, recording, mixing, mastering, and duplicating an album of songs composed for Daniel to give out to people in exchange for a donation. Wracked with doubt and daunted by the sheer magnitude of the project, I drew inspiration from Daniel, who at that moment said: “I’ve decided to move forward, to take things one day at a time…”

Projet Espoir came to light in March 2012, thanks to the generous contributions of our coworkers, close friends and Facebook friends. We’ve even received donations from Italy, Russia, Sweden, France, the United States, and the rest of Canada! We’ve also got corporate sponsorships from TD Canada Trust and L’Aubainerie Concept Mode in Repentigny, Karisma Studio, and RSB iMedia. On March 6, 2012, we finally revealed to Daniel the project that we’d secretly been working on for so long.

Everyone who donated received an album, and all the money raised was given to the Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont Foundation for cancer research. Like the disease that my father-in-law battled, Projet Espoir had its ups and downs, and this thought by Daniel perfectly describes my own feelings: “It’s a fight, you know. Even if I’d lost the battle, I wouldn’t have had any regrets. The worst thing would’ve been not to have tried.”