Mistissini man runs 345 km to raise research funds after beating the disease

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Défi course à pied Pat Dom Mistissini - Mashteuiatsh 345 km Gilbert qui présente fièrement notre frere Pat Dom_nMistissini’s Patrice Dominique, an Innu originally from Mashteuiatsh (Pointe-Bleu), ran a total of 342 kilometres between the two communities in late June to raise over $3000 for the Canadian Cancer Society and to celebrate his good health after recently beating the disease.

“I wanted to do this for myself. But then one of my friends said that I really should do it as a fundraiser, so I decided I would do it for the Canadian Cancer Society,” said Dominique.

In the spring of 2013, Dominique said he began to feel unusually tired to the point that he was exhausted by routine spring-cleaning around the exterior of his home. A lifelong distance runner who could once push himself 48 hours straight, Dominique knew that something was definitely wrong and immediately sought medical help in Chibougamau.

“When I went they told me that I had very low iron levels and that I must be losing a lot of blood. They asked me if I was aware of it and I said I wasn’t,” said Dominique.

After undergoing a colonoscopy and a gastro-scope to determine how Dominique was losing blood, the doctor told him that he really didn’t like what he saw. Biopsies performed a few weeks later led to a diagnosis of stage 3 rectal cancer.

Dominique said he was very lucky because all of his cancer was confined to the same area of the rectum, and hadn’t metastasized. He was able to begin treatment a few weeks later at the hospital in Chicoutimi. Over the course of three months, he was treated with chemo, radiation before undergoing surgery in December 2013 to remove the remaining cancer tumour.

Follow-up tests every few months confirmed the news that he is now cancer free. Doctors have credited his good health and athleticism to his rapid recovery.

A year and a half after his diagnosis, Dominique triumphantly hit the road for a run between his two hometowns.

“I ran from Mistissini to my hometown of Mashteuiatsh, which totals 342 km. The first day I did 90 km, I rested and then the next day I did 105 km. I took a break and then the following morning I ran another 95 km. On day four I finished the remaining 52 km,” said Dominique.

Dominique trained for two and a half months to prepare, which wasn’t a difficulty for the 52-year-old who has run long distances for most of his life. An enthusiast of ultra-marathons, Dominique said that before his illness he was easily capable of running for 12 consecutive hours with his record being about 48 hours running 265 km on a treadmill in Chibougamau seven years ago.

“People are really impressed with what I have gone through, that I was able to come back and keep running,” said Dominique.

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