Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees

by Nathalie on December 6, 2017 - 10:05pm


You wanted a new bike, a candy bar from the convenience store and a new toy from Toys ‘R’ Us but your mother probably told you that money doesn’t grow on trees and she was right. As a child money is this abstract concept. You hear adults talking about it and you know it’s a thing but you don’t really understand it. You understand that if you leave a store with something your mom gets angry at you and schools you about money but it’s still not too clear. As you get older, the value and importance of money because more apparent. What you can and can’t do with money either greatly helps you or greatly disadvantages you and this fact is emphasized when someone close to you becomes very sick.

The value of money became apparent to 14 year old, Li Xiaoqing, from China diagnosed with hepatoblastoma, a rare liver cancer. On November 30 2017, The Daily Mail posted an article, “Heart-breaking moment terminally ill girl, 14, tells her debt-ridden parents to stop treating her after they spent all their savings on her medical bills.” Li has been terminally ill since May of 2014 and her parents have spent over 55 thousand Canadian dollars on treatment and even had to borrow money. Seeing the distress of her parents, Li asked her parents to let her go so she would not burden them. Thankfully, volunteers from Tencent Charity in China have created a donation page where over 13 thousand Canadian dollars have already been donated. Sadly, the target of over 96 thousand Canadian dollars has still not been reached and has yet some to go. This story is sad, however not uncommon. Many families face enormous financial when sick children are involved and though the Xiaoqing family are receiving charitable donations, many families are left to fend for themselves.

Cancer is an unforgiving disease that takes live of the innocent but when it takes the lives of helpless young children who have their whole lives ahead of them, it’s heartbreaking. The worst part is, there are thousands amongst thousands of strands of cancer that mutate constantly. Lung cancer, leukemia, breast cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer, sickle cell cancer, melanoma, brain cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and I’m missing some… We here about a scientific advancement in cancer research but cells only take 24 hours to divide and mutate whereas research can take years. So is progress in cancer research really progress? There’s a new scientific discovery but a new strand is mutated so you’re back to square one.

Meet Marie-Ève Saulnier. A persistent, happy little girl, daughter of Linda Langlois-Saulnier and dolphin lover, who would have been 22 this year. I say would have because sadly in 1996, Marie-Ève lost her life at the age of twelve to leukemia.

However, despite her tragic passing, Marie-Ève did not die in vain. In 1997, her mother founded an organization called “La Fondation Marie-Ève Saulnier” in honor of her daughter, the logo symbolizing her daughter’s love of dolphins. The foundation that helps families struggling financially because of lengthy medical bills. The foundation aims to help out families who have children, who have been diagnosed with cancer, and who need financial support. They offer the possibility to parents to concentrate on their child’s illness by minimizing stress factors, such as money, and aiding in maintaining family life as normal as possible.

On November 6th 2017, the foundation hosted the 10th edition of their benefit supper, “Fourchettes et tendresse” which also happened to coincide with the celebration of their 20 year anniversary. The supper consists of the majority of the foundation’s revenue and allows for them to help others. The benefit supper at Evo on 777 boulevard Robert-Bourassa, Montreal, Canada, consisted of about 600 people to which about 60 were famous Quebec personalities assigned to each table. The night included a cocktail, a supper, both a silent and non-silent auction, a draw and testimonies from families that have been helped with all proceeds going to the foundation. This year, I had the honor to volunteer with the foundation and help with their silent auction.

And although the foundation is rather small and new, they managed to raise 310 000 Canadian dollars that evening, 51 000 Canadian dollars more than the previous year!!! That’s astounding!

In addition to being a part of the event, I was allowed access to the photos of that evening and an interview with the adjoining administrator, Lucie Nadeau whose role consists of assisting the general management in its duties, perform bookkeeping, prepare deposits and tax receipts, prepare the accounting file, pay suppliers, participate in the organization of events and all other tasks necessary to good functioning of the foundation. In an ideal world, the foundation would like to implement long term help for the families to get there footing back after these struggles surpassed. As although many organizations offer help through different forms (financially, accompaniment, activities) during the treatment period but none offer long term aid. Even though, the child may be in remission, there are still numerous doctors’ appointments to be had and so the families’ financial situation is often still difficult. Emotionally, the family is also affected by this trauma so there is still a need for support.

The goal of my project is to raise awareness and to get the word out about a foundation as the main source that the foundation misses is a resource in communication that would allow promotion of the foundation. And although the foundation lacks in communication, Nadeau highlights the foundation’s greatest accomplishment is its longevity. Having found a place in a society where organizations are multiplying with causes each as noble as another is in an exploit in itself.

It honestly doesn’t matter what you give whether it be your time or your money. It honestly doesn’t matter how little or how much you give. Because a little bit of anything can make the world a whole hell of a lot better and can even save a child’s life.



I really like the project that you did and how you included a story about who was the key to this organization from the beginning. I think that it is great to know that there are organizations out there that are contributing to support childrens and families. I am also doing a project that involves organization that are reaching out to them such as Operation Enfant Soleil, Make A Wish foundation or Leucan.

About the author

Hi! I'm Nathalie. I'm a 17 year old cegep student at Champlain. I can speak English and French fluently and I dabble in some Spanish. I participated in a public speaking and a poetry contest. I did synchronized swimming for 3 years and competitive swimming for 8 years. I danced for 12 years.