Celine Dion's engagement against cystic fibrosis
Céline is devoted to numerous humanitarian causes. She is the President of Honor of the Foundation against Cystic Fibrosis and supports the T.J. Martell Foundation and the Bottom Memorial of Princess Diana of Galls.
Céline Dion began promoting public awareness of cystic fibrosis in 1982, when, as an adolescent, she embarked on her singing career. Throughout Céline's career, however, one element has remained constant - her commitment to the CF cause. That commitment is marked by real life tragedy : Céline's niece, Karine, her sister Liette's daughter, who had been born with this disease affecting lungs and digestive system.
Céline began supporting the CF cause at the regional level of the Foundation, through her collaboration with the Quebec Cystic Fibrosis Association (QCFA), the Foundation's provincial arm in Quebec. She helped spread the CF message by participating in media interviews, QCFA public service campaigns and fundraising activities.
In May 1993, Karine lost her battle against cystic fibrosis and went out slowly in the arms of her aunt Céline, at the age of 16 :
"I went near her, tells Céline, she was slept; she had the strength to get up, and I, I was behind her to try to support little with my body her back, because she was bent; she got up, she took my arm under her; I loosened her hair, and I sang in her ear, and like that, Eddy's song came to me to the idea: Les Oiseaux du Bonheur; I sang this song very slowly and quite slowly, I felt that, these organs, each, one after the other, left us, because my body was very near her, and I felt that they left us; and I did sign to my family which was on the edge, and for my mother (she shakes the head), while singing, I did not (she jumps), no, everybody knows, then I looked at the family, I did (she shakes again the head) and I continued to sing; she left slowly like that; I am so satisfied to have sung her a song before she leaves, and before she gave me this luck to accompany her, it is the most beautiful gift... "
The lucidity, the determination and the courage shown by Karine throughout her endless fight against the disease represented a source of motivation and inspiration for Céline. For all the Quebeckers, Céline and Karine symbolized the fight of the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Fondation and all the patients that she represents against this terrible disease.
Céline recorded several songs, dedicated to her niece, MÉLANIE and VOLE (FLY in English on the album FALLING INTO YOU).
In August 1993, Céline strengthened her commitment by graciously accepting the Foundation's invitation to be its national Celebrity Patron. As part of her increased involvement, Céline participated in the Foundation's Canada-wide public awareness campaign, from 1994 to 1997. The central message of this campaign featuring Céline and Chanelle Lemieux Lecavalier, a child with CF from Hull, Quebec, was one of both hope and urgency. Hope, that a cure or an effective control for cystic fibrosis will be found. Urgency, for continued public support is required to realize this goal.
"Against the CYSTIC FIBROSIS: the wonderful cure, it is YOU." - Céline
In addition to promoting public awareness of the CF cause, Céline generates significant revenues for cystic fibrosis research and treatment from Canadian and international sources, and has generously donated to the Foundation her appearance fees from several concerts and guest appearances.
There is no doubt that Céline's immense popularity, both in Canada and internationally, will continue to benefit the CF cause. As her songs reach a wider audience all over the world, she is now in a position to appeal to the generosity of a greater number of people. Each year and each step of her involvement have brought us closer to victory against cystic fibrosis.
The Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
2221, Yonge Street, Suite 601
Telephone : (416) 485-9149, 1 800 378-2233
Fax : (416) 485-0960
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Website : http://www.cysticfibrosis.ca