Patrick 4 Life (P4L) AIDS Awareness and Education is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to educating youth about HIV and AIDS.
P4L creates awareness about HIV and AIDS through education, leadership, fund-raising and partnerships.
P4L’s purpose is to provide and facilitate the development and implementation of educational programs and activities designed to equip youth with the skills and knowledge they need to make healthy life-style choices.
P4L’s programs and services include, but are not limited to, the development of educational curricula, programs and the support of teacher training.
Patrick 4 Life History
At the age of seven Patrick Fortin was diagnosed HIV positive. 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. In 2001, Patrick died of AIDS, but his legacy remains (see Patrick’s story).
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.
Having recently attended a tribute for Dr. Susan King, one of Patrick’s long-time HIV/AIDS pediatric doctors, the Fortin’s were captivated by Dr. King’s commitment towards raising funds for the Philip Aziz Centre Children’s Hospice – Canada’s first hospice for children battling AIDS and their families.
Christine and Christian raised over $8000 for the Philip Aziz Centre Children’s hospice and both qualified for the Boston Marathon. While training for the Boston Marathon, Christine and Christian raised another $5000 for the hospice. In September 2005, Christine and Christian generated a team of 198 runners and 45 volunteers who travelled to Toronto for the Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon. The team raised $73,000 for the Philip Aziz Centre Children’s Hospice.
A meeting in November 2005 acted as a catalyst to the establishment of Patrick 4 Life being incorporated the following year. Its immediate mandate was
- to provide a forum for awareness, discussion and activism related to HIV/AIDS and related issues
- to promote HIV/AIDS education in elementary and secondary schools and in post-secondary educational institutions
- to promote and support activities and events organized by or on behalf of registered charities related to HIV/AIDS and
- to foster educational and social activities for people affected by or interested in HIV/AIDS.
- to promote healthy mental health practices
Patrick 4 Life grew out of a desire to honour the life of Patrick Fortin, to specifically communicate the desires of Patrick’s dream of Zero AIDS and to address the many challenges associated with HIV/AIDS in the North Bay area and Ontario. Patrick 4 Life's vision is that "Every child in every classroom in the province of Ontario will experience an HIV and AIDS awareness education program."
Since its inception the organization has been dedicated to empowering the community through encouragement and collective action. During its life, Patrick 4 Life AIDS Awareness and Education has provided educational awareness activities, support for other charitable organizations, advocacy services, and volunteer opportunities for individuals in the community who want to make a difference in eradicating HIV/AIDS. In eight years, over sixteen thousand children, from French, English, Public, Catholic and First Nation schools in the Nipissing district, have been involved in the Partici-Patrick Ten week educational program.
For more information about Christine and Christian Fortin as co-founders of Patrick 4 Life please review the recognition given to them at the convocation at Nipissing University in June of 2009 where they received Honorary Doctorate degrees in recognition of the founding and establishment of Patrick 4 Life.