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A special thank you for Colby Audette

By Sean Chase, The Daily Observer

Sean Chase/Daily Observer 
Colby Audette (bottom centre) receives a hockey jersey signed by Anaheim Ducks winger Corey Perry during a brief ceremony Monday night at Petawawa town hall. The jersey was presented to Colby as a token of appreciation for his support of the Town of Petawawa Fire Department's muscular dystrophy boot campaign. Joining Colby are (left to right) Mayor Bob Sweet, Gloria Audette, Deputy Chief Craig Proulx, firefighter John Murray, Capt. Brodie McDonald and firefighter Chris MacDonald.

Sean Chase/Daily Observer Colby Audette (bottom centre) receives a hockey jersey signed by Anaheim Ducks winger Corey Perry during a brief ceremony Monday night at Petawawa town hall. The jersey was presented to Colby as a token of appreciation for his support of the Town of Petawawa Fire Department's muscular dystrophy boot campaign. Joining Colby are (left to right) Mayor Bob Sweet, Gloria Audette, Deputy Chief Craig Proulx, firefighter John Murray, Capt. Brodie McDonald and firefighter Chris MacDonald.

 

PETAWAWA - Town of Petawawa firefighters thanked one of their most important supporters and a special friend Monday night.

The department and town council invited Colby Audette and his family to the town hall where he received an autographed jersey from Anaheim Ducks alternate captain Corey Perry. It was a gesture that further cemented the bond that has developed between the first responders and the 15-year-old Pembroke teen who suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

“On behalf of the Town of Petawawa Fire Department and the town, we would like to thank Colby for his help and his dedication,” said Deputy Chief Craig Proulx before the chamber erupted in applause for Colby.

Canadian Fire Fighters have played an integral role in the Muscular Dystrophy Canada campaign for more than 50 years. Acrosse Canada, 800 fire departments raise more than $3 million annually. Over the past eight years, the Petawawa department have been holding the boot drives raising $120,000 for Muscular Dystrophy Canada.

In recent years, they've been joined by Colby, who was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy in 2011. Colby’s neuromuscular disorder affects nearly one in every 3,500 boys. Muscular dystrophy (MD) is a term that refers to a group of muscle disorders in which the face, arms, legs, spine or heart muscles gradually shrink and weaken over time. His family has raised the profile of muscular dystrophy through Colby's Crusade.

“I just wanted to put a face to the disease,” said Colby's mother, Gloria Audette.

She thanked the department for getting the jersey from Perry, a Stanley Cup veteran and Colby's favourite hockey player, and for making her son part of their community outreach.

“Ever since we became a part of the muscular dystrophy boot drive they've just been so gracious in raising money for muscular dystrophy,” said Audette. “These guys have been great and for them to make this presentation to Colby means a lot to us.”

SChase@postmedia.com