Montreal in review: 10 inspiring stories from 2016

Simon Laporte with his wife, Pascale Vo, and their two children, Olivier and Simon. The couple created Oli & Bou, a company that designs clothes for children with dwarfism after Olivier was diagnosed. Simon Laporte

From reconsidering beauty standards to inspiring young students and a clothing line designed for children with achondroplasia, here are 10 inspiring stories Global News covered in Montreal this year:

Which story was most memorable to you?

Nalie Agustin holds up a paper copy of her e-guide “Chemo Secrets,” Monday, February 1, 2016. Nalie Agustin/Facebook

Chemo secrets

When Nalie Agustin was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 24, she felt like her world was crumbling around her.

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“You try to find anyone who’s like you, you click on all the hashtags of women living with breast cancer.”

READ THE STORY: Chemo Secrets: un-edited experiences from young breast cancer survivors

Click to play video '#lifewithlolRAK: Kindness campaign to honour Lauren' #lifewithlolRAK: Kindness campaign to honour Lauren
#lifewithlolRAK: Kindness campaign to honour Lauren – Jan 5, 2016


“We didn’t think too much about the future or too much about the past because it was too painful and I think that helped us get through it.”

One Montreal family is asking the public to perform random acts of kindness as a way to remember their daughter, Lauren, who passed away from a rare illness.

READ THE STORY: Montreal parents launch kindness campaign to honour late daughter

Click to play video '#GreatMTLer: Franca Sparapani, the giver' #GreatMTLer: Franca Sparapani, the giver
#GreatMTLer: Franca Sparapani, the giver – Nov 17, 2016

Helping vulnerable seniors

“I feel gratitude that I have the opportunity to actually do this I feel blessed to be able to help others.”

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After suffering a setback in the corporate world, Franca Sparapani decided to work to enrich her community and comfort to some of the most vulnerable seniors in her community.

READ THE STORY: Franca Sparapani, the giver who helps vulnerable seniors in the South Shore

Click to play video '#48in48: Tragic accident leads to organ donation' #48in48: Tragic accident leads to organ donation
#48in48: Tragic accident leads to organ donation – Apr 18, 2016


“If he knew he would help somebody, he would have done it, so that’s when we decided [to give his organs].”
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Loïc-Hélène Gros-Desormeaux reflects on her son’s life, and the difficult decision she made to donate his organs after a tragic accident.

READ THE STORY: A mother speaks out about her son’s tragic accident, donating his organs

Click to play video 'Dressing children with dwarfism' Dressing children with dwarfism
Dressing children with dwarfism – Jul 14, 2016

Oli & Bou

“We quickly realized that everything that we took for granted, he would have to fight for.”

Children with achondroplasia, or dwarfism, struggle to find clothes that fit properly, but one Montreal family is trying to change that with their company, Oli & Bou.

READ THE STORY: Son’s diagnosis inspires Montreal couple to create clothing line for children with dwarfism

Click to play video '#GreatMTLer: Gabriel Bran Lopez, the educator' #GreatMTLer: Gabriel Bran Lopez, the educator
#GreatMTLer: Gabriel Bran Lopez, the educator – Nov 24, 2016

Helping Montreal’s youth

“Kids can learn kids can succeed not just academically but in life.”

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Gabriel Bran Lopez created a youth fusion group to lend a helping hand to students across the province.

READ THE STORY: #GreatMTLer: Gabriel Bran Lopez, the educator who lifts up Montreal’s youth


“Most people find it hard to believe that you treat an illness like this with things you’d find at a grocery store.”

A three-year-old Côte Saint-Luc girl has entered a contest to win protein that is usually used by bodybuilders – the difference is that she needs it to stay alive.

READ THE STORY: Côte Saint-Luc toddler with rare disease enters protein contest for bodybuilders

Click to play video 'Running to Nashville' Running to Nashville
Running to Nashville – Nov 8, 2016

Running to Subban

“I am proud of my students who are being physically active. It helps them be more attentive in class.”

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A Grade 4 teacher at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary School in Vaudreuil is encouraging her students to exercise together so they can better concentrate in class.

READ THE STORY: Vaudreuil students ‘running’ to Nashville to see P.K. Subban

Annick Robinson posted a picture of herself at Calgary Airport after her conversation with the salesman, Saturday, April 9, 2016.
Annick Robinson posted a picture of herself at Calgary Airport after her conversation with the salesman, Saturday, April 9, 2016. Annick Robinson/Facebook

Reconsidering beauty standards

“The salesman was pointing to my face and asking me to worry about my face, worry about how I look.”

Exhausted and anxious to see her children, Annick Robinson was heading home to Montreal when a salesperson at a beauty kiosk called out to her.

READ THE STORY: Montreal woman wants you to reconsider your beauty standards

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Fighting for his life

“I can’t help but be filled with all sorts of emotions: anger, sadness, fear, love but most importantly hope.”

Matthew Schreindorfer, the Laval man who raised almost $1 million for experimental cancer treatment in New York in 2014, is still fighting for his life – now needing $700,000 for treatment in Seattle.

READ THE STORY: Last chance: Matthew Schreindorfer’s family fundraises for treatment in Seattle