The Canadian CMV Foundation is a national charity committed to preventing congenital Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections and improving quality of life and care for those affected.
Our vision is a world without congenital CMV.
We are focused on:
- Raising awareness – Developing educational materials, and sharing information about CMV to increase public awareness and educate healthcare providers through our website, social media, newsletters, awareness campaigns, presentations and conferences.
- Supporting the CMV community – Creating tools for caregivers, connecting families with local resources, and consulting with our parent advisory committees to build a support network for Canadian families.
- Advocating for change – Calling on all provincial governments and territories to implement universal newborn cCMV screening programs to ensure that all babies born with cCMV get the quality of care they deserve.
- Funding relevant and innovative research – Working with our trusted medical advisory board, supporting vaccine development, and distributing scientific grants to improve screening and treatment options.
Canadian CMV Foundation is committed to advancing its vision and undertaking its work with:
Chair and Trustee
Rob is an award-winning business executive with an extensive background in the Financial Services Industry. Rob is also one of the leading minds in the St. Boniface Francophone Community and is a past President of the Chamber of Commerce. In his daily work life, Rob is Branch Manager, Sr. Vice President & Portfolio Manager and Head of the Rob Tetrault Wealth Management Group at Canaccord Genuity Corp. He has consistently been named to the top 50 list in Canada for all Investment Advisors and recently named #2 in the entire country. Rob is also a past chair of Francophone Lawyer’s Association and Francophone Sport Manitoba. Rob has practiced in the past as a lawyer at a prestigious firm in Winnipeg and has a Finance MBA as a member of the Dean’s List at the Asper School of Business. Rob is also a published author whose quantitative analysis paper on using Topsis and AHP methods to rank hockey players was published. Rob’s passion and dedication towards the simple goal of eradicating Congenital CMV has consumed a healthy portion of his years as a father. It’s through his vision, dedication and hard work that the Foundation exists today. Rob loves and lives life to the fullest, and can often be seen cheering up folks and reminding them not to sweat the small stuff. His optimism with respect to the eventual eradication of CMV is positively contagious.
Marc is an enterprising young executive that has risen through the ranks of business in Winnipeg. He has been involved in CMV fundraising efforts since the very beginning and is credited with having co-founded Western Canada’s largest outdoor 3-on-3 ball hockey fundraising tournament: Le Classique. It’s Marc’s remarkable vision with respect to organizing and structuring an event which could attract thousands of spectators over the course of a weekend that paved the way for the immensely popular community fundraiser. In his spare time, Marc enjoys playing the fiddle and snowshoeing.
Derrek is a devoted husband and father of three young children who has a long history of success in the financial services industry, first as a commercial lender and presently as an Investment Advisor. Derrek has been involved with the Canadian CMV Foundation since the very first days, having been one of the initial signors of the trust document which legally created the foundation. He has been an integral part of the charity’s largest fundraising event, Le Classique. Derrek is also an established magician and has performed his magic at many events throughout the province.
Dale is a highly successful corporate lawyer at MLT Aikins who has been an active part of the Winnipeg business community for many years. Dale is a member of the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association and has provided senior leadership in co-chairing large fundraising campaigns for United Way Winnipeg. As Corporate Counsel for CMV Canada and the Canadian CMV Foundation, Dale is fully focused on eradicating congenital CMV infections and providing all aspects of guidance and leadership to the trustees and advisory committees
Kayla joined the Canadian CMV Foundation team in January 2020. She has always been passionate about helping non-profits thrive and has previously worked for other organizations such as United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Ronald McDonald House Charities. Today, she is privileged to work alongside a team of incredibly passionate and dedicated volunteers who are committed to eradicating congenital CMV infections. Originally from New Brunswick and a true East-Coaster at heart, she currently lives in Saskatchewan with her husband and their two dogs.
Dr. Ari Bitnun
Dr. Sean (Ari) Bitnun is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, University of Toronto and a staff physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases, Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). His main areas of interest are pediatric HIV, congenital infections and infections of the central nervous system. He is the Director of the Family-Centered HIV Clinic and the Congenital and perinatal Infection Clinic at SickKids.
Dr. Isabelle Boucoiran
Dr. Isabelle Boucoiran is Clinical Associate Professor at Université de Montréal (UdeM). She graduated at the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis (France) in 2010. After a maternal-fetal medicine fellowship at UdeM and a fellowship in reproductive infectious diseases at the University of British-Columbia, she joined the Public Health School of UdeM and the obstetrics and gynecology department of the CHU Sainte-Justine where she is co-director of the Women and Children Infectious Disease Centre, a provincial referral centre for congenital infections. She is a member of the SOGC infectious diseases committee. Her main research interests are infectious diseases in obstetrics-gynecology and maternal-fetal medicine.
Dr. Jason Brophy
Dr. Brophy is a Clinician Investigator at the CHEO Research Institute and an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa. Dr. Brophy completed his medical degree and his pediatrics residency at Memorial University in Newfoundland, and his infectious diseases fellowship and CIHR-Canadian HIV Trials Network Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Toronto. He also earned a master’s degree in health research methodology from McMaster University, and a Diploma of Tropical Medicine. He has a special interest in CMV research and has been a driving force behind Ontario’s universal CMV Screening program.
Dr. Eliana Castillo
Dr. Eliana Castillo is Clinical Associate Professor at the Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary. Her medical and teaching practice focuses on medical disorders in pregnancy and reproductive infectious disease. She has been active in the areas of congenital CMV infection, immunization during pregnancy and maternal mortality at a local and national level through her work with the Society of Obstetrics and Gynecologists of Canada, Alberta Perinatal Health Program and National Advisory Committee for Immunization.
Dr. Jessica Dunn
Dr. Jessica Dunn, MD, MPH, FRCPC is a Pediatric Infectious Disease specialist at Alberta Children’s Hospital and Clinical Assistant Professor at the Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary. She earned her medical degree and Master of Public Health at Boston University, then pursued her Pediatric and Infectious Diseases post-graduate training at the University of Ottawa. She played a key role in the development of Newborn Screening Ontario’s CMV screening program as a risk factor for hearing loss, the first of its kind in the world, and continues to serve as the medical lead for this provincial program.
Dr. Soren Gantt
Soren Gantt, MD, PhD, MPH, is a Pediatric Infectious Diseases specialist, the Director of Clinical Research at CHU Ste-Justine and Professor of Microbiology and Pediatrics at the University of Montreal. Dr. Gantt completed the Medical Scientist Training Program at New York University, followed by a residency in Pediatrics and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. Gantt’s main research focus is on how CMV is transmitted and the development of vaccines to prevent congenital CMV infection.
Dr. Fatima Kakkar
Dr. Fatima Kakkar is an infectious diseases pediatrician and clinician researcher at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sainte-Justine, as well as an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the Université de Montréal. She earned her medical degree at McGill University, followed by a residency in pediatrics at Western University, a fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Toronto, and a masters of Public Health at Harvard. She is co-director of the Women and Children Infectious Disease Centre in Montreal. The centre is dedicated to improving the lives of pregnant women and young mothers infected with a virus transmissible to the baby, as well as their children. Dr. Kakkar’s research interests include cCMV, mother-child infections and epidemiology.
Marie Pigeon, M.Sc.A.
Marie Pigeon received her degree from McGill University School of Human Communication Disorders. She provides support in the development and implementation of program protocols, training, and continuous quality improvement for the Ontario Infant Hearing Program. Marie is proud to be a part of the clinical group that worked to both conceptualize and operationalize risk factor screening for permanent hearing loss, which includes CMV, in Ontario. Marie provides clinical care in the Audiology Department at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO).
We are always looking for parents who want to get involved. If you would like to join your local parent advisory committee or start one in your region, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Lindsay and Oliver Craig
After being blindsided by a cCMV diagnosis in 2018, Lindsay and Oliver are dedicated to improving outcomes for families affected by CMV. They want to change the system so that other parents do not have to go through the same experience they did. Lindsay and Oliver successfully advocated for their newborn daughter to be tested and treated after she was diagnosed with hearing loss. Finding support from the CMV community was vital to their daughter’s outcome, and that is why they are passionate advocates for cCMV in Canada. Lindsay holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and is a Human Resources Professional. She brings experience in people resources from the not for profit sector.
Lisa and T.J. Robinson
Congenital CMV was a completely unknown risk to Lisa & T.J. before they received the shocking diagnosis of severe fetal infection at 23 weeks into their second pregnancy. Because of early detection and access to excellent care and treatment options, their daughter Georgia was born much stronger than doctors predicted. Despite multiple disabilities and challenges due to the brain differences caused by cCMV, Georgia continues to exceed expectations and spark joy for those around her. Since experiencing their own journey with cCMV, the Robinsons have become determined to advocate for greater awareness, prevention, detection and management of this common condition. They are driven by the belief that every family deserves the knowledge and care that is needed to improve outcomes for each child. Lisa is a Speech-Language Pathologist working in early education. T.J. has a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and together they own & operate a small business in Innisfail, specializing in flooring and renovation services.
William found out about cCMV on the 14th day of his daughter’s life. A new blood screen program determined that his daughter was born with the virus and suffered from severe hearing loss. She was the first through the Ontario screening program and that brought a significant learning curve alongside an extreme amount of uncertainty. William wants to help educate and eradicate this terrible virus. He is deeply involved in the medical device industry, a Professional Engineer, and holds a Masters of Business Administration.
Mike leads SoaringFamilies.com, an organization he co-founded to empower families and individuals facing disabilities or medical challenges with the confidence and knowledge to create more balance, energy & freedom in their lives. He is also a technology leader, acclaimed author, and international speaker. Most importantly, he is father to Ben, who was born with congenital CMV. Despite being told he would never walk, talk or go to school, Ben found a way to become a university graduate and inspires Mike every day to build a truly inclusive world.
When our son, Alexandre, was born in 2008, neither one of us had ever heard of congenital Cytomegalovirus or “CMV”. We were devastated when doctors explained his diagnosis and what he would have to go through.
During one of his especially difficult treatment days, we promised our newborn son that we would do something about CMV. We vowed that once things settled down and life got back to normal, we would to do our part to help.
Over time, that promise evolved. We eventually held our first fundraising event in February 2013, a ball hockey tournament we called Le Classique. We raised $7,000 in our first crack at fundraising. It was a modest success, but we knew that the event would grow. In 2020, the 8th edition of Le Classique raised over $100,000.
We founded the Canadian CMV Foundation out of necessity. Although there was a plethora of American and international charities devoted to this cause, there was nothing established in Canada. We decided to fill that void.
It is truly amazing to see how far we have come since those early days. The reality is, we would not be here today without the dedication and support of the entire CMV community. We are so grateful for every parent, volunteer, donor, health professional, researcher and law maker who has contributed to our successes. Thank you to each and every one of you. We have a vision for a world without CMV and I have no doubt that with the support of this community we can achieve that goal.
– Rob and Michelle Tétrault