Our Stories2018-05-18T12:43:24-04:00

Our Stories

Chelsea’s story: Young woman with cystic fibrosis waits for the cure that will save her life

Most of us might pop a multivitamin each morning. Chelsea Gagnon swallows 20 to 30 pills per day or 10,000 pills a year. The 27-year-old has cystic fibrosis (CF): her body produces thick, sticky mucous that clogs her lungs, making it hard to breathe. The disease makes her prone to sinus and lung infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Eventually, chronic inflammation triggered by repeated infections will damage her lungs. Chelsea has been a patient of the Cystic Fibrosis Clinic at the Montreal Chest Institute (MCI) of the McGill University Health Centre her entire adult [...]

Giving back and getting back: Why Shannon Cupri loves being a nurse

When Shannon Cupri graduated from high school, she applied to CEGEP to become either a nurse or a police officer. She was accepted in both programs. Tossing a coin, she opted for nursing and has never looked back. Shannon is a registered nurse on the Inpatient Unit at the Montreal Chest Institute (MCI) of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). She has been a fixture on the ward for 22 years. The MCI was her first job out of nursing school and despite having tried a few other nursing positions over the years, the MCI [...]

Dr. Basil Petrof seeks a better understanding of how our lung muscles function in order to prevent muscle failure

Dr. Basil Petrof is the head of the Laboratory of Respiratory Muscle Biology and the Interim Director of the renown Meakins-Christie Laboratories. His research focuses on respiratory muscle dysfunction, injury and repair. He and his team are studying disorders of the diaphragm and other breathing muscles. Our respiratory muscles pump air into and out of our lungs. If these muscles are defective, patients are at risk of respiratory failure and even death. Some disorders of the respiratory muscle are genetic (inherited), such as muscular dystrophies. Other patients can acquire such a disorder as a consequence [...]

Finding her calling: Dr. Jennifer Landry helps young adults with rare respiratory diseases

In nearly every life, there is a key person who knowingly or not, shapes our future. Dr. Jennifer Landry, a respiratory specialist at the Montreal Chest Institute (MCI) of the McGill University Health Centre decided to devote her life to helping people with respiratory diseases after meeting Stephanie, a young woman living with cystic fibrosis (CF). CF is the most common fatal genetic disease affecting Canadian children and young adults. The disease has a significant impact on their breathing and digestion. There is still no cure. “Stephanie was about my age. We met when I [...]

The unbelievable story of Joe Ryzhik and the chance encounter that drastically improved his life

It started with a sore throat. In 2000, Mr. Joe Ryzhik, then 23-years-old, had strep throat. Easy solution: take antibiotics for 10 days and bang, you’re as good as new! But Joe developed a rare kidney disorder and both of his kidneys failed. This was just the start of a dizzying array of serious, even critical, medical ailments. Over the last 16 years, Joe has been in four life-or-death situations. He has endured years of dialysis, two kidney transplants and open-heart surgery. He also beat a life-threatening case of pneumonia that left him in a [...]