Johanne and Réjean Cardinal with Ryan Douglas, Nancy Ravary and their daughters Cameron and Lily. (Photo: Francis Tessier-Burns).

Wishes, music and maple syrup: Dérick’s Pancake Day

On Saturday, March 11, the Sucrerie du Ruban hosted its eighth annual Dérick’s Pancake Day.

Réjean and Johanne Cardinal, the owners of the sugar shack, started the event to honour their son who passed away after falling through ice on a nearby lake and fundraise for Make-A-Wish Eastern Ontario.

Although the Cardinals never recieved a wish themselves, when Dérick was 17, he had severe pneumonia and was admitted to Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. There, said Réjean, they met many kids who had their wish granted and saw how positive it was for them.

“We see the community really enjoys giving to these types of causes,” added Cardinal.

At this year’s event, a family from Cornwall had their wish granted. Five-year old Lily has rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer that mainly affects skeletal muscles. They received a trip for the whole family down to Walt Disney World.

Her father, Ryan Douglas, said Lily was diagnosed 10 months ago and it’s “turned our world upside down.” Things are looking up, though, as he said he was looking forward to Lily’s last chemotherapy session this week.

All photos: Francis Tessier-Burns.