Repeated chemotherapy treatments and multiple medical interventions never succeeded in affecting his morale. His attitude, his refusal to give up and his moral strength impressed the people who met him. Through perseverance and determination, he got back on his bike. In 2019, his latest video allowed him to win the coveted international title of Rider of the year. Among the thousands of Pascal supporters, several testified to having found a source of inspiration in him. BMX was his passion and as he mentioned it his reason for getting up in the morning:
and my attitude made
the big difference.”
Commemorative Mural at TAZ
Pascal's family would like to thank everyone involved in this great project: Montreal artists, HEST1 and STARE, the Embassy MTL, Vans Canada, Le Sino store, Le TAZ Skatepark and Pierre Gauthier.
Official launch of the Pascal T Lafontaine Fund
From the left : Jean-François Dupuis political attaché of Ms. Nathalie Roy, Minister of Culture and Communications, Dre Sophie Mottard orthopedist HMR, Pierrette Tétreault mother of Pascal T Lafontaine Caroline Apollon Université de Mtl, and Dr Jonathan Noujaim oncologist HMR.
Why a Fund Pascal T Lafontaine?
There is virtually no research on sarcomas.
Due to their rarity, the pharmaceutical industry has very little interest in sarcomas. This is why philanthropic donations are essential for the evolution of knowledge about sarcomas.
Very toxic chemotherapy has not evolved in 50 years.
Following Pascal's death, his parents, with the support of the University of Montreal, created the Pascal T Lafontaine Fund for sarcoma research in December 2020 so that research can progress and save lives.
The year following the creation of the Pascal T Lafontaine Fund, Pascal's father, Robert Lafontaine, died from a devastating cancer. Pascal's mother, Pierrette Tétreault, and his brother Éric continue their commitment to this cause which is close to their hearts.
All donations collected to the Pascal T Lafontaine Fund are paid to the sarcoma medical team at Maisonneuve Rosemont Hospital for research purposes.
What is a Sarcoma?
A sarcoma is a rare malignant tumor that occurs in soft tissues (muscle, connective or fatty tissue), the peripheral nervous system or bone.
Sarcomas more often affect children and young adults; they represent approximately 15% of malignant tumors in children and approximately 1% of all cancers in adults.
Sarcoma cancers are very aggressive, require mutilating surgeries, and sometimes amputations.
Sarcoma cancers are often asymptomatic and difficult to diagnose.
When sarcoma recurs, recovery is, unfortunately, almost impossible.
The average life expectancy of a person with metastatis sarcoma is one year.
There are more than 100 different subtypes of sarcomas. Each subtype of sarcoma has its own particularities, which complicates their management.
The Goals of the Fund Pascal T Lafontaine
Improve sarcoma screening by providing training to primary care physicians.
Increase scientific knowledge and expertise in the field of sarcomas.
Support Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital (HMR) in its goal to become a renowned reference center for sarcomas.
Eventually transform the Fund into a Sarcoma Research Chair, which will provide ongoing financial support.
All donations go to the sarcoma research team at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital (HMR)
Nearly $400,000 has been raised since the Fund was created in December 2020.
A big THANK YOU to all our donors!!!
With part of the donations collected, the members of the sarcoma medical team at Maisonneuve-Rosemont hospital have accomplished great things and are currently engaged in a major research project.
- Establishment of a sarcoma registry
- Development of training offered to general practitioners to better detect sarcomas;
- Creation of a biobank to preserve blood tissue samples essential for fundamental research;
-Development of 3 retrospective studies on uterine and extra-uterine leiomyosarcomas as well as dermoid tumors.
Achievements 2023: Start of a fundamental research program
The Maisonneuve-Rosemont hospital team bringing together Dr. Jonathan Noujaim, oncologist, Dr. Sophie Mottard and Dr. Georges Basile, both orthopedists specializing in musculoskeletal oncology as well as Dr. El Bachir Affar, renowned researcher at the Research Center from the same hospital, have started a major world-class basic research program on sarcomas.
This research project will extend over several years and will allow us to better understand the biology of sarcomas and thus identify and test promising drugs.
Fundamental Research Program
The Fundamental Research Program on Sarcomas is divided into two main stages.
Stage 1 (2023-2024):
- carry out genetic studies in the laboratory to better understand how the fusion of two genes in a sarcoma contributes to the uncontrollable proliferation of cancer cells; And
- by discovering the mechanisms that push cancer cells to grow, researchers will be able to identify the cellular signaling pathways that must be targeted in order to develop new treatments for patients.
Stage 2 (from 2025): the continuation of the project will make it possible to:
- test various drugs available on the market or in development that can potentially target these newly discovered cellular signaling to determine which ones are effective in curbing the proliferation of cancer cells; and
- identify promising drugs which can subsequently be further studied in mouse models and then possibly in humans.
On the way to a Chair!
In order to provide continued financial support and consolidate long-term research efforts in the field of sarcomas, a decision was made to transform the current Pascal T Lafontaine Fund into an Endowment Fund. The creation of an endowment fund will allow donations to be retained and the money to grow until the capital necessary for the creation of a Research Chair is obtained. When the Pascal T Lafontaine Fund has the required capital, i.e. three million dollars ($3,000,000), it will be converted into a Research Chair in Sarcomas, according to the creation process in force at the University of Montreal
Pending the creation of the future Research Chair, the fundamental research program on sarcomas will continue since it benefits from donations from different sources.
Objectives of the future Pascal T Lafontaine Chair in Sarcoma Research
Promote close multidisciplinary collaboration between fundamental, translational, and clinical research.
Ensure the convergence of expertise in gene regulations and cell signaling with that of expert clinicians and clinician-researchers with the aim of catalyzing a research program on the biology and therapies for sarcomas.
How you can Help
You Can Make a Difference
All donations go to the sarcoma research team at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital (HMR).
Make a Donation of $10 000 or more
The more people we reach with Pascal's story, the more he can continue to inspire and help. By sharing this link to the fund's website with your family and friends, you can help us achieve this goal.
The Book «The Extra Mile»
“The Extra Mile” is a photographic memoire of Pascal's will and determination, by Pierre Gauthier.
Edition out of print
Let's join forces!
These efforts and these accomplishments allow us to maintain hope. Contributing to the progress of research in order to improve the treatments of people affected and save lives: this is the mobilizing project of the Pascal T Lafontaine Fund for research on sarcomas. All this is possible thanks to your donations. Help us support the Pascal T Lafontaine Fund and thus move forward towards the creation of a Sarcoma Research Chair for the medical and sarcoma research team at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital.
Thank you in advance for your generosity!
For more information