On August 28, 2017, Malik Fontaine was born and injected his natural joie de vivre into the small family of Mélanie McCann and Martin Fontaine. Éloïc, 4 years old, is overjoyed to finally see his little brother for the first time at the CHU de Québec-Université Laval.
Energetic, resourceful and of a stunt nature, Malik triggers palpitations in his parents, but fortunately, without major accidents. Malik, their little happiness on two legs, is a healthy little boy who likes to explore and discover new things. He loves going to daycare to meet his friends and it is with a smile and hugs that he is welcomed. It is with a head full of imagination that Malik bites into life and has fun with his comrades around stories of dinosaurs and superheroes.
Months and years pass and Malik is doing well, except for the inevitable minor colds that regularly arise during the long winter months specific to Quebec.
In 2022, at the age of four and a half, the tide turned. Monday, February 21, 2022, Malik seems to have a little less energy and interest in the activities offered at daycare. The next day, a high fever seizes him and lasts for 5 days. A visit to the local clinic reveals nothing major about his health.
Apart from this fever, Malik has nothing physically to suggest a diagnosis of cancer, but the results of the blood count come out less than 48 hours after his admission to the hospital on February 26, 2022. Bad cells are noticed in his bone marrow.
The results of the blood tests are disturbing. A blood test poor in white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets, requires transport by ambulance to the CHU de Québec-Université Laval for a blood transfusion.
After two days of uncertainty, unanswered questions, worry and very little rest, the diagnosis is announced to the anxious parents. Malik has very high-risk (grade 4) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Her parents are devastated.
Time freezes. Ideas are blurred. The sky is falling on their heads. This terrible news hits them hard. This is the kind of news that no parent wants to hear.
The hemato-oncologist explains the upcoming process to them. Dr. Bruno Michon with extraordinary calm takes the time to explain the next steps to them. Mélanie and Martin quickly gather their belongings and rush to the Charles-Bruneau Cancer Center where Malik’s real fight will begin. He is taken care of the next day. He undergoes a bone marrow puncture to measure the degree of his leukaemia. The diagnosis is confirmed, but the exact process of chemotherapy that Malik will have to endure is not yet identified. The next day, he must be fasting for surgery to install a Port-A-Cart (PAC) on his abdomen, connected to the vena cava of his heart, necessary for chemotherapy treatments.
The first official diagnosis is communicated to them. Malik is at low risk (grade 1). The parents are relatively relieved although they are predicted that the treatment will be intense, but less invasive than normal. A few days pass and they read all the documentation they can find on this type of cancer. They try to assimilate everything explained to them by the oncologists, pediatricians, nurses, social worker, physiotherapist, massage therapist and the Leucan team.
This overdose of information is like a tidal wave that grabs them and makes them lose their footing. Nevertheless, she stimulates them to redouble their efforts to support their little champion who is already fighting a powerful enemy from the height of his 4 years.
Unfortunately, a few days later, a second diagnosis is announced to them. Since science isn’t always exact, they learn that Malik ultimately has very high-risk (grade 4) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). This new diagnosis hits them, once again, with full force. Already at the end of their strength to take turns at the hospital because of the restrictions due to COVID-19, they learn that Malik’s treatments will be more aggressive and more invasive. Nevertheless, they remain hopeful by clinging to the prognosis of 80% treatment success.
Armed with the little energy they have left, they get up to support Malik and the rest of their little family.
In their heads, it is chaos. Questions flood in and parents wonder how they’re going to get there. In addition to their respective jobs, they must accompany their little Malik in his daily fight. But they also have to take care of their big 8-year-old boy, Éloïc, who has to pursue school, hockey and his life in general, still not understanding why he can’t visit his little brother who is bedridden in the hospital.
The new situation of Mélanie and Martin imposes important readjustments on them. They must terminate the daycare contract, because Malik will no longer be able to return there. They must also find a solution for Malik who will not be able to start school in September.
Fortunately, family, friends and work colleagues are mobilizing to help them manage their schedules, which have been a huge challenge since the beginning of this fight. This wave of mutual aid still warms their hearts today. Meals, washing, cleaning and the rest of their daily life has been restructured to allow them to take care of Malik and his older brother Éloïc who is going through this difficult situation at 8 years old.
The financial challenge of their new context also worries them. They have to cover the costs related to long periods of hospitalization, medication, parking and the resulting loss of income. A GoFundMe was therefore set up by a close friend to alleviate the stress of their new situation.
Five long months have passed with ups and downs, but Malik’s leukemia is responding relatively well to treatment. Her little body is extremely weakened, but her smile has nevertheless returned, which warms her parents’ hearts day after day.
Malik gives them the energy to support him in his fight against leukemia. However, he still has 19 months of chemotherapy at the end of which they will finally be able to ring the bell of the long-awaited victory.
Little champion, great warrior, your parents are so proud of you and they will be by your side to celebrate the end of your long and arduous fight.
My name is Patrick Michel.
I’m an endurance runner.
I love running long distances, and using my passion to help others is one of my main objectives in life.
When I learned about Malik’s leukemia, I immediately offered to undertake this 270 km run from Montréal to Quebec City to help raise awareness and funds to help save his life and alleviate the financial burden his condition is imposing on his family.
So, from August 25 to August 28, 2022, I will run the 270 km separating Montréal’s Sainte-Justine Hospital from the CHU de Québec-Université Laval.
Before, during and after my run, Malik will need your help with generous donations. Sharing this humanitarian event on your social media networks is another way to offer your support.
Anything will help!
Thanks in advance for your generosity and support.
Training Plan for the Event
|5/30/2022||10 km||10 km||10 km||10 km||10 km||50 km|
|6/6/2022||10 km||15 km||10 km||15 km||15 km||65 km|
|6/13/2022||10 km||15 km||10 km||21 km||15 km||71 km|
|6/20/2022||15 km||15 km||21 km||21 km||15 km||87 km|
|6/27/2022||15 km||15 km||21 km||21 km||15 km||87 km|
|7/4/2022||15 km||21 km||21 km||21 km||21 km||99 km|
|7/11/2022||10 km||10 km||10 km||10 km||10 km||50 km|
|7/18/2022||21 km||21 km||21 km||30 km||21 km||114 km|
|7/25/2022||21 km||30 km||21 km||30 km||21 km||123 km|
|8/1/2022||21 km||30 km||21 km||42 km||21 km||135 km|
|8/8/2022||21 km||21 km||42 km||42 km||42 km||168 km|
|8/15/2022||21 km||42 km||42 km||42 km||42 km||189 km|
|8/22/2022||Event ->||65 km||65 km||70 km||70 km||270 km|
- Physical & mental Readiness 95% 95%
- Logistics Planning 90% 90%
- Crew Readiness 95% 95%
“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”
“Do today what others won’t, so tomorrow you can do what others can’t!”
“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”
THE PRICE OF A LIFE
Your donations are critical in helping Malik continue the treatments that fight his leukemia. Your generosity helps his family deal with the tremendous logistics burden they face each day.
Track the run live
You can track my progress in real-time and see where I am at all times during the four days of this 270 km run.
If you feel courageous enough and want to be a part of the adventure, you can join me and run a few kilometres.
Whether you track my run or participate, your interest is a source of energy for me.
Malik and I thank you in advance.
(Available only when I’m running)
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