Patient's stories

Steve De Petrillo


Steve De Petrillo is alive thanks to the integrated care approach

When I was 30, I never thought I would one day be fighting cancer. It all started with numbness in one leg. After undergoing some tests and a biopsy at Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, I got the shock of my life: I had sarcoma! A huge cancerous mass had developed in my belly and was  pressing against my nerves and blood vessels.Worse still, the tumour was wrapped around my sciatic nerve. It was December. I had just started a small business, investors were showing interest, my girlfriend and I wanted to start a family...

Were all my plans about to go down the drain? That was just unthinkable! Not just for me, but for Dr. Leblanc who, along with his team, took care of me. I underwent intensive radiation therapy and chemotherapy treatments: 40 hours a week for six months! My father went with me, I kept working as best I could, my friends were there for me, and I kept an iron will.

We all hoped the treatments would shrink the tumour enough to be removed without causing any damage. The only other horrifying option was amputation. But I was lucky: Dr. Leblanc and his team achieved more than we could have dreamed of, they were able to remove the tumour without touching the sciatic nerve, saving both my leg and my life! I’ll never forget everything they did for me. Can you imagine? A few days after the operation, I was playing hockey again!

I realized that you can’t put a price on cancer treatments.

I was cured because the health professionals at HMR combined all their skills and knowledge so that I could receive the best treatments for me, not to mention the best possible follow-up. I was so well  taken care of! However, I realized that for some other patients, things are a lot harder. Despite their immense dedication, the oncology team doesn’t have the resources needed to apply this patient-centred approach to every kind of cancer. To support them, HMR and the Foundation are working to build the Integrated Cancer Centre, and as donors, we have an opportunity to help make it happen. 

The quality of oncology care also depends on us! Together, we can make sure that every patient can have the same hope of being cured. We can give the same possibilities to everyone  confronting this disease. Thank you for joining us and donating to the Foundation!