Fonds Julie Thorn

Equipping secondary schools with defibrillators

In 2012, while she was in gym class, 16-year-old Julie Thorn’s life came to a sudden and tragic end when she went into cardiac arrest. A subsequent inquiry showed that a defibrillator could have saved her life. Her sister, Marie-Hélène Thorn, and her friend Marie-Hélène Proulx, both students at the time, decided to act to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening again.

With the support of the Foundation of Greater Montréal, they created the Julie Thorn Fund with an initial investment of $80. Its aim is to provide schools with automatic external defibrillators (AED), and with training in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), so as to prevent fatal incidents. The fund creators set themselves a fundraising target of $10,000 over five years.

Barely four years in, they reached their initial target, having amassed $15,000 through a variety of fundraising activities. Thanks to their hard work and commitment, the fund has been able to give out its first grant of $1,235 to the ACT Foundation, which establishes CPR and defibrillation programs in secondary schools. This first grant also provided a school with a defibrillator.

February 2020 marked a new milestone for their fund. They were able to provide Deux-Montagnes Comprehensive School (Julie’s school) with four mannequins and three training defibrillators, which will allow the school to have all of its students trained in CPR. Their mission is definitely on the right track, and they are now thinking about launching some new fundraising activities.

Thank you to the initiators of the Julie Thorn Fund for their commitment to support CPR training for young people in Greater Montréal. They have demonstrated that philanthropic action is within anyone’s reach, and that philanthropy empowers individuals to engage in a cause that is close to their heart, while also honoring the memory of a loved one.

© Christian Asselin