Dérick’s Pancake Day is taking a break this year.

Both of its founders, Johanne and Réjean Cardinal have cancer, and the COVID-19 pandemic has made it impossible for this year’s event to go ahead.

The annual event at Sucrerie du Ruban near Ste-Anne-de Prescott has raised more than $155,000 for the Make A Wish Foundation of Eastern Ontario.  It was started by the Cardinals in memory of their late son Dérick, who also loved maple sugar season.

Réjean was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2019, and Johanne was later diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  Réjean has delayed a second round of treatments in order to accommodate the treatments Johanne needs.

The couple has been driving to Ottawa General Hospital almost daily for medical appointments and treatments, which has caused them considerable expenses and stress.  Their niece, Nathalie Mainville, started a Go Fund Me fundraiser to help them pay for fuel, food, and overnight accommodation.

Mainville wants to raise enough funds to allow her aunt and uncle to cover their expenses and both get the treatment they need.

“They’re so used to give, give, give, they’re not used to receiving,” she said.

Mainville set a goal of $4,000 for her fundraiser and it had already been reached by Friday, March 20.  She has left it open and donations can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/f/fundraiser-couple-double-cancer-diagnosis