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Tribute to Erik

In the midst of Erik’s battle with cancer, the family welcomed their second daughter, Emilie. It was their first Christmas as a family of four, with 2-year-old Sophie and 2-day-old Emilie. Marie-Eve couldn’t have known it at the time, but in her heart, she suspected Erik wouldn’t be with them much longer. Six months later, she would place her hand on his heart, feeling the pace going slower and slower, trying to enjoy as much of his soul as she could before he left. As he took his final breaths, she was amazed to see … even in death, he was still smiling ...

Despite how hard Erik fought for 14 long and painful months, Erik lost his battle on June 29th, 2017. For Marie-Eve, Sophie, and Emilie, their lives were changed forever.

Erik fought so hard to be there for his girls. He would have endured any treatment if it meant he could have had one more moment with them. He loved them more than anything, and though his time as a father was cut so very short, he was the best dad. 

"I’m so grateful for every moment you helped give him, and us, by supporting breakthrough research and world-class care at The Princess Margaret." - Marie-Eve (Erik's Wife)

From day one, that support meant the world. Erik’s cancer journey began in May 2016, when he was diagnosed with stage 3 alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, an aggressive cancer of the soft tissue. The very next day, he started an intensive 42-week chemotherapy regimen. It was just one week before Erik was diagnosed with cancer that I learned I was pregnant again. With one-year-old Sophie and another baby on the way, we needed the positivity of Erik’s oncologist, Dr. Gupta. It kept us going during the toughest times … kept us fighting until the very end. But soon we received the life-shattering news ... despite his tumour shrinking, the new scan showed a spot on his bone, meaning his cancer was upgraded to Stage 4.He was given less than 4% odds he’d survive the next 5 years.

As he fought for time, Erik always told people, “I can’t control that I have cancer, I can’t control that I’m going to die — but I can control my attitude. I choose to be happy.”

He chose his girls. He chose to enjoy every last minute with them, and me. Today, despite their heartbreak, Marie-Eve and the girls still choose to be happy because that’s what Erik would want for them.

Erik’s greatest fear about dying was that his girls wouldn’t know how much he loved them. But, thanks to people like you, and the advances you help make possible, he had time to let them know …He carefully picked out songs and little white dresses for little Sophie and baby Emilie. He danced with them — a moment preserved in a video they’ll see on their wedding days. 

Together, we made so many memories and recorded countless treasures … special messages and ordinary moments together so that his girls will always know who their daddy was and how much he loved them.

Last year, nearly 12,000 doves soared in the cancer centre. While Erik was having his treatment, he would go around and read the messages. Those doves were a source of comfort and support for patients and families like Erik's, and a powerful sign of our collective hope and determination to Conquer Cancer In Our Lifetime.

You can give another family who needs hope, and the very best care in the face of cancer. 

 
Erik with Sophie
First Christmas as a family of four
Erik with Emilie
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Doves of Hope