Scott Montreal high rise challenge

Reach for the top to support Muscular Dystrophy

By Jim Morrison

Notre Dame de l’Île Perrot (NDIP) firefighter, Marc Laplante has always taken life’s obstacles head on.

In 2011, Laplante, a 10 year veteran of the force, challenged his inner strength by participating in the annual Scott Montreal High Rise Challenge in support of Muscular Dystrophy.

“I worked downtown several years ago, and I came across this event upon my walk at lunch. I saw all the firefighters, and paramedics which were involved and it inspired me,” said Laplante.

In 1997, Denis Harel began climbing the steps of various downtown Montreal buildings to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy of Canada.

The following year, Denis passed the torch to Yann Lefebvre, a Pointe Claire firefighter, who would accomplish, on his own, what we call today the High Rise Challenge. His exploit is listed in the Guinness World Records: 24 towers and 18,000 stairs climbed in 1 hour 48 minutes 45 seconds.

On Friday, May 16, 2014, the 17th Scott Montreal High Rise Challenge will take place at the Montreal Stock Exchange Tower where more than 600 firefighters, paramedics and policemen and women, as well as individuals from the general public will climb the 1,125 stairs, or 48 floors, of this tower. An extreme challenge is offered for lovers of achievement; by performing the feat twice.

Team captain, Laplante, is participating in his fourth climb. He brings teammates, Perry Leacock, a 12 year veteran of the NDIP firefighters, and third stint of event. Veronique Bourret, a first responder of NDIP is in her inaugural test.

The firefighters tackle the climb in full equipment which weighs as much as 50 pounds. Laplante averages 20-26 minutes to conquer the challenge.

The 2014 goal of the event is to raise $275,000 Laplante’s ambition is to raise $7,000 for the cause.

Neuromuscular disorders are a group of diseases that weaken the body’s muscles. The causes, symptoms, age of onset, severity, and progression vary depending on the exact diagnosis, and the individual.

To date, the High Rise Challenge has raised over $650,000 in support of Muscular Dystrophy Canada’s mission to help people suffering from neuromuscular disease.

To help Marc Laplante and his team visit and
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