Anthony Amato, MCH patient, appointed young ambassador for Opération Enfant Soleil

By Anne-Laure Jeanson, Courrier Laval
On March 9th, representatives from Opération Enfant Soleil were present at Hôpital La-Cité-de-la-Santé to deliver $ 58,192 to Laval’s Center for Health and Social Services (CSSS) and $ 7,916 to la Maison d’hébergement l’Envolée.
They were accompanied by Anthony Amato, who was recently named Opération Enfant Soleil’s regional ambassador for Laval. His parents and his sister were also in attendance. "Each region has its representative,” announced the event’s moderator, Anick Dumontet. “This year, in Laval, it's an extraordinary young man named Anthony!"
The 10-year-old resident of Duvernay suffers from type 1 diabetes. His pancreas is no longer functioning.
"Four to five times a day, I have to take my blood sugar levels by pricking my finger. The readings let me know if I need an insulin injection or if I am low, and need a drink of juice," says the young hockey fan.

Family support
At home, the Amato family has changed their eating habits to help motivate their son. "We have a nutritional index and a number of books in which the amount of carbohydrates found in fruits and vegetables are listed," says Anthony, “it’s hard work, but you get used to it.”
"Our son was seven years old when he started losing weight, he was drinking up to half a litre of water every 15 minutes,” say Anthony’s parents. “Doctors were later able to diagnose him with diabetes after preliminary blood tests.”
"It was very difficult, "says Anthony’s mother, Sonia Carpentier. “No one in the family had been previously diagnosed with diabetes, and I was fearful of blood and injections," she says.

’s ambassador
"Opération Enfant Soleil supports us a lot,” says Ms. Carpentier. Every three months, her son must make a routine visit to The Montreal Children's Hospital.
Before Opération Enfant Soleil launches its 24th annual Telethon event on June 4th and 5th, Anthony plans on participating in a number of fundraising activities.
"This weekend, Anthony will be cooking with Annie Broccoli and the team to raise money for the organization," says his proud mom.
"I hope to inspire other sick kids. Even if we sometimes feel frustrated, it’s important to remember to never give up, remain positive and courageous," said the young ambassador, in a statement.
For more information on Opération Enfant Soleil and the pediatric health centres it funds, please click here.
Photo credit: Courrier Laval