MONTREAL, March 17, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - In April 2014, Dr. Alain Bouthillier, neurosurgeon at the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM) and member of the CHUM's Groupe d'épilepsie, will swap his scalpel for an ice axe and set off on a mission to reach the highest summit on earth, the 8,848 meter high Mount Everest. This challenge, which is both a personal and charitable one, aims to raise $100,000 for the Fondation du CHUM. These funds will contribute to research and the development of new treatments toward overcoming epilepsy.
Dr. Bouthillier, who has practiced as a neurosurgeon over the past 18 years, has set himself the goal to climb the highest mountain on each of the seven continents: he already has five to his credit. He is not only motivated by the idea of surpassing his physical abilities, but also by the desire to raise awareness about epilepsy, an illness that is still too often misunderstood, and to finance research projects that will contribute to innovative discoveries in its treatment. His leitmotiv: Together to the summit to conquer epilepsy!
In order to reach his financial goal, he will hold a benefit cocktail reception a few days before his departure in collaboration with the CHUM's Groupe d'épilepsie, namely in the presence of Yvon Deschamps, volunteer spokesperson for the Fondation du CHUM, and chef Louis-François Marcotte. During the evening, Mr. Marcotte, who suffers from epilepsy himself, will share his own experience about living with the illness on a daily basis.
Bolstered by his previous experiences
"Two previous charitable expeditions in 2010 and 2011, on Mounts Aconcagua and McKinley, allowed, thanks to the generosity of precious donors and partners, to finance research projects and give patients access to new investigation technologies, namely magnetoencephalography and quantitative brain imaging. These important medical breakthroughs have helped heal a number of our epilepsy patients," explains Dr. Bouthillier.
"In February and March 2012, I underwent two operations that allowed to remove my epileptic focus. I haven't had any crises since then. I never thought I could be healed from epilepsy. It is a beautiful gift that was given to me and I will always be grateful," says Marie-Hélène Trudeau, a patient of Dr. Bouthillier's and the Groupe d'épilepsie.
In Quebec, 70,000 people are affected by the condition and nearly one-third of these cases are resistant to medication. Epilepsy does not discriminate and can strike anyone. Some 4,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in the province.
Watch Dr. Bouthillier explain his challenge and his motivations : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHD8wYXahw8
About the CHUM's Groupe d'épilepsie
The CHUM's Groupe d'épilepsie is a multidisciplinary team that includes three neurologists and a neurosurgeon with specialized training in epilepsy treatment and surgery. Its mission is to evaluate and support complex epilepsy cases that are often resistant to medication. The team takes on 600 new cases and receives 4,250 visits each year.
About the Fondation du CHUM
The Fondation du Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM) serves as a catalyst and a driving force in carrying out the CHUM's mission, with its numerous initiatives, fundraising activities (direct mailings, canvassing of individual donors, private foundations and corporations) and its capital fundraising campaign. Thanks to the generosity of its donors, it has given over $102 million to the CHUM since 1998. Whether it is used to acquire the latest equipment, support research projects that lead to promising treatments, help train a new generation of medical professionals or support the promotion of health, the money raised contributes directly to the continued improvement of patient care. fondationduchum.com
SOURCE: Fondation du CHUM
For further information: Elodie Grange, Director, Communication and Marketing, Fondation du CHUM, 514 890-8361, [email protected]; Marie-Luce Pelletier Legros, Advisor, Communication and Marketing, Fondation du CHUM, 514 890-8077, ext. 36182, [email protected]