I was born in Morocco to a Moroccan mother and a Syrian father. I later went to study in France and spent a few months in Spain and the U.S. But it’s here in Quebec where I have built my life over the past 20 years. And one day, I’ll be leaving a legacy to the CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation.

I’m the mother of two healthy sons who have never set foot in Sainte-Justine. They’re 10 and 12 years old, and they’re both wonderful. Knowing how lucky I am that they are strong and capable of carving out their own path in life is what prompted me to pay it forward. I recently made the decision to act on something I’ve been considering for a long time: incorporating a charitable bequest in my will. And the CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation seemed like the best place to direct my donation.

My father would tell you that I have always been an ideal candidate for planned giving.

Sharing is something that makes me happy. I come from a country where sharing is essential and part of everyday life. I was moved by the fact that, from the moment I held my first son in my arms, there was already an opportunity to do good for other children. I started by donating his umbilical cord blood. Then I donated breast milk. Both felt completely natural to me. After all, we are all connected at a fundamental level, even in a developed society like Quebec.

I came to Canada with an accounting degree in hand. My first job was in a coffee shop, where I was eventually promoted to manager. When my older son was born, it awakened in me a need to make a difference in other young lives. So in 2013, I opened a daycare centre. I loved it, and I went back to school to get my bachelor’s degree in child psychology. I had actually volunteered at an orphanage when I was living in Morocco. In other words, a big part of my life has been dedicated to children. I see the legacy I’ll be leaving as a natural extension of this.

Love of family is a value that guides everything I do. And that same love within the Sainte-Justine community is what appealed to me. It’s a commitment to caring for children, but it’s also about reaching out to the people around them. And by looking after each family, we are doing our best to help each patient.

I decided to let the Foundation direct my gift to the needs that are the most pressing when the time comes, and I have every confidence that my contribution will be used wisely. I am determined to help Sainte-Justine make the most of future opportunities in pediatric medicine. I want to encourage researchers and medical teams to persevere, even when the solutions are hard to find.

I told my sons about including Sainte-Justine in my will. They understand the reasoning behind my decision. Once the pandemic is over, they’ll go visit the hospital. Even if they’ve never needed Sainte-Justine’s expertise themselves, I know they will be as glad as I am to make a difference in the lives of those who do.

Maï Tabbara
Member of the Future Fund

*The remarks expressed in this article reflect the opinion solely of the author and should not be considered as representative of the CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation