TORONTO, Sept. 11 /CNW/ - It's not easy to run a marathon...but compared
to living with a life threatening illness, running is a snap. Just ask any of
the dozens of runners from the North Bay area of Ontario taking part in this
year's Scotia Bank Toronto Waterfront Marathon...inspired by the courage of a
local hero whose life was cut tragically short at 23.
Patrick Fortin passed away 6 years ago, the victim of HIV and hepatitis,
contracted through transfusions with tainted blood products when he was a
In his memory, Patrick's parents, Christian and Christine Fortin, formed
Patrick 4 Life Aids Awareness and Education, a non profit organization
dedicated to educating youth about how to prevent the transmission of
They also took up running...not only as a form of exercise...as a means
to raise funds to battle the deadly disease that claimed their oldest
son...and as a tribute to Patrick's doctor, Susan King, who dedicated her
career to researching HIV/AIDS.
In the past 2 years, the Fortins and their team have helped raise roughly
$125,000 for Dr. King's favourite charity...Toronto's Philip Aziz Centre, a
non-profit home hospice, providing physical, emotional, and spiritual support
for people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other life threatening illnesses.
According to Rauni Salminen, director for the Philip Aziz Centre, "The
support we get from the North Bay area is amazing. In the past 2 years, we'd
had more runners from there than we've been able to attract across the entire
Now at an age when many people are spending more time in the easy chair,
the Fortins and Team North Bay are preparing once again, for Canada's fastest,
flattest marathon...September 30th, in Toronto.
Says Christine Fortin, "I've only been running for a few years...but if I
can do it, anyone can do it."
After all...compared to living with a life threatening illness...running
is a snap.
If you would like to join the Fortins, and their group from North Bay, in
their quest to make Toronto's Philip Aziz Centre the top fund raising charity
at the upcoming Waterfront Marathon, September 30th...there are several ways
you can help.
If you're a runner, or a member of a group of runners, join the Philip
Aziz Centre (PAC) team and register for the marathon through their website.
The Philip Aziz Centre is a registered charity, and corporate help and
donations are always welcome.
Author: Dave Barker
For further information:
For further information: If you, or your company would like to sponsor a
runner, or to volunteer at the Philip Aziz Centre water station, call (416)
363-9196 or email Don Pangman, firstname.lastname@example.org