Honoured by Christian and Christine Fortin.
Patrick was born in Kapuskasing, on June 26th, 1978, and was diagnosed a severe hemophiliac. To manage his bleeding disorder, Patrick required bi-weekly Factor VIII infusions. In the early to mid 1980s, the Canadian blood supply was contaminated with the HIV virus and as a result, Patrick was diagnosed HIV positive in February of 1986, at the age of 7.
Being a talented athlete, gifted musician and student of life, Patrick’s childhood was filled with activities that were enjoyed to the fullest. As the disease advanced through Patrick’s teenage years, his positive outlook, courage, determination, through adversity, and humour inspired everyone he met.
Patrick’s HIV status remained undisclosed for 10 years. In 1995, Patrick chose to reveal his HIV status to family and friends and received acceptance and support.
Patrick found courage and used his story to educate and help others become aware of the disease. Students in North Bay cherish their memories of Patrick; the young man with AIDS who broke down stigmas and myths with facts.
In 2001, Patrick died of AIDS, but his legacy remains. After Patrick’s death, his parents, Christine and Christian, started training for their first marathon. Christine and Christian were encouraged by friends to use their running as a way to fundraise for a cause.
The Patrick4Life organization grew out of a desire to honour the life of Patrick Fortin, to specifically communicate the desires of Patrick`s dream – ZERO AIDS – and to address the many challenges associated with HIV. Patrick’s wish at every birthday and at each full moon was: A CURE FOR AIDS.
Patrick was proud to be Canadian and would be proud that through his enduring spirit, we continue to raise AIDS awareness in our communities.