Mom with 2 young daughters at podium
Marie-Eve Mongrain speaks about her husband, Erik, while their two young daughters, Sophie (L) and Emilie, say hello to the crowd at the 18th annual Dove Dedication Ceremony. (Photo: The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation)

The 18th annual Dove Dedication Ceremony at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre honoured those who have been touched by cancer, including the family of a young father who died of the disease last year.

Doves of Hope is a campaign by The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation helping to change the lives of people with cancer and bring hope to their families.

This year's campaign featured the story of Erik Couture, who was diagnosed with Stage 3 alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, an aggressive cancer of the soft tissue, in May 2016 and died on June 29, 2017 at the age of 32.

His wife Marie-Eve Mongrain spoke at the ceremony about how grateful she was the treatment Erik received at the Princess Margaret allowed him to spend more time with her and their two young daughters, Sophie and Emilie.

"Erik was not sick in those 14 months," said Marie-Eve, who explained that the treatment plan left him with few side effects. She also thanked everyone who has supported the breakthrough research and world-class care at the Princess Margaret.

"Without all of you, we wouldn't have been able to create all of those memories," she said.

Watch the moving video about Erik and learn more about the Doves of Hope [Editor's Note: Link is no longer available]

The ceremony also featured opening and closing remarks by The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation's President & CEO Michael Burns, a reflection with Marc Doucet, Manager of Spiritual Care at the Cancer Centre, and a musical dedication by Michaela Bekenn.

More than 11,000 doves, each representing one person and their cancer journey, have been dedicated this year and are hanging in the Cancer Centre and displayed online [Editor's Note: Link is no longer available] as a symbol of hope and strength.

The Doves of Hope campaign raises more than $1 million annually.

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