Tree of Hope - From the operating room to a triathlon

I received the news in March 2020, at the very beginning of the pandemic… It’s crazy how your world is rocked by when it happens. Anticipation always brings the worst to mind, but once the diagnosis is confirmed, reality is a hard pill to swallow. In my case, it was prostate cancer.

I was taken care of very quickly. From the start, I have had the privilege of having a first-class oncologist to guide me. Together, we examined all the options, and he explained that in my case, surgery would be the best tactic to fight the cancer.

He suggested robotic surgery for a prostate ablation. The many advantages of this technique helped form my decision: less post-operative pain, less negative side effects such as erectile dysfunction or incontinence, a lesser trauma to the body, and a much quicker recovery. The only issue was that this technology was not available in our province.

The closest surgical robot, and the only one in Atlantic Canada at the time, was in Nova Scotia. But in my case, it meant a more than 1,000 km trip to undergo the procedure in Montreal.

Thanks to this cutting-edge technology, I was discharged from the hospital barely 24-hour after the operation. Due to the distance, however, my wife and I had to spend a week at a hotel until we could come back home to our
children, in Dieppe.

As soon as I returned home, I began my daily 5 km walk. A month later, I slowly integrated jogging and swimming into my routine. Six months after my surgery, I completed my very first triathlon, a promise I had made to myself when entering the surgical suite. All in all, my recovery went very well. Unfortunately, not everybody has that chance.

Throughout this endeavour, I was relieved to learn of the existence of this state-of-the-art technology, though I was devastated to know that it was not one of the options available here, in New Brunswick.

And so, this year, it is for the purchase of a surgical robot that the CHU Dumont Foundation is looking to raise funds through its Tree of Hope campaign.

That’s why I invite you to donate what you can, regardless of the amount, so that all New Brunswickers, like me, have access to the best technology here, at home. that way, they can begin their recovery in the comfort of their own home, surrounded by their loved ones.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart,


François Plante

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