From Passion to Action
Behind Défi Canderel lies a story that is both deeply personal and universally meaningful.
Over three decades ago, cancer struck at the heart of Jonathan Wener’s family, uprooting their sense of security and leaving them with a new definition of normal.
At 36, his wife, Susan, faced her first battle with cancer, leaving Jonathan feeling helpless. Like many individuals faced with a loved one’s diagnosis, he wanted to fix it.
In a pivotal moment by her hospital bed, Susan’s doctor shared advice that resonated deeply: “There’s nothing you can buy, there’s nothing you can donate that will make a difference now for your wife. What you can do is put money in the hands of researchers to help reduce the impact of cancer for future families and patients.”
The Défi Canderel Challenge was created at that moment—A campaign born from a desire to restore hope for cancer patients and help all those affected break free from that sense of helplessness. By leveraging Canderel’s business community, Jonathan launched this initiative to fund innovation in research to better prevent and treat cancer.
A Collective Cause
“Cancer is a disease that touches us all. By working together and engaging the community, collectively we have the ability to make a difference in the lives of our friends, family, neighbours and co-workers.”
– Jonathan Wener
While the idea for the Défi Canderel is rooted in a deeply personal experience, it was also inspired by the realization that this story is not unique.
Cancer touches the lives of families everywhere, regardless of background or circumstance. It is a challenge that unites us all.
By bringing together a community of passionate individuals, expert researchers and dedicated corporations, we donate funds to research centers, fostering groundbreaking discoveries and real change. Through empathy and shared purpose, we serve as a vital catalyst to a future where the impact of cancer is minimized for every family.
35 Years of Commitment
For 35 years, Canderel’s corporate community has come together in a united effort to raise funds and participate in our annual fun run, all in the pursuit of combatting cancer.
In it’s early days, the Défi Canderel was a themed run, where each team showed up costumed, celebrating diversity in a community united for a single cause. The fundraiser eventually transformed into a superhero themed experience; A powerful tribute to the resilience of those touched by cancer and the unwavering dedication of those joining the fight.
As the run evolved, more fundraising events took shape, transforming the Défi Canderel into a year-round campaign dedicated to eradicating cancer through curiosity-driven research.
A Community Combatting Cancer
“Research, education, commitment. Those are the things we need to help us push forward. Feed that and sprinkle on a little bit of passion, desire, hope, faith, and belief in possibility—Those are the ingredients that help us change our future.”
– Susan Wener
Our mission is rooted in compassion, fueled by purpose, and driven by the unwavering belief that together, we can make a profound difference.
Défi Canderel’s commitment to pioneering cancer research is a testament to a collective resolve to transform this shared challenge into a pathway to innovative solutions.
Together, with a diverse community made up of researchers, donors, corporations, patients, families, and individuals, we can help prevent, treat and, one day, defeat cancer!