Odette Lacroix: winner of the 2016 Chantal Lanthier Award

(From left to right): Odette Lacroix with Véronique Pignatelli, director of programs and support services, Chantal Lanthier and Claudine Cook, executive director at the Society.

Words are not enough to describe  Odette Lacroix’s tireless work for the Society, even now, at the age of 75! In recognition of her dedication,  Odette received the Chantal Lanthier Award, awarded to a volunteer whose remarkable contribution to our mission makes him or her an inspiration to others.

From the moment Odette’s husband, Pierre Lacroix, was diagnosed with ALS in 2001, the couple rolled up their sleeves and got to work helping as many people as possible where they live, in Quebec City. Since the Society’s services weren’t fully developed in the Capitale Nationale region at the time, Odette and Pierre both contributed in their expansion. “We’d attend information meetings, support groups, and activities organized by the Society in Montreal and then take the information we’d learned back to other people in Quebec City living with ALS. We’d also exchange emails or chat on the phone with families living with the disease, as a way to let them know they weren’t alone.”

Shortly after Pierre’s death in 2011, Odette went back to getting involved for the Society. “Pierre was always upbeat, always happy. After he passed away, I still wanted to do something to help others in the same situation. I felt like they were really and truly alone, and I decided I was better off reaching out to them than sitting home alone crying.”

As a retired nurse, Odette organizes support groups in the area, helps out at the local Walk for ALS and all the social activities, recruits potential participants for clinical trials, and makes sure ALS patients are never alone as they face the end stages of their disease. “I do this because I love it. I enjoy helping the patients, I enjoy working with the Society—I’ve made beautiful friendships and I have a lot of love for everyone here!”

Odette’s story inspires you to help the Society achieve its mission? Become a volunteer!