Jonathan Pitre

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Jonathan Pitre
Born(2000-06-02)June 2, 2000
DiedApril 4, 2018(2018-04-04) (aged 17)
Known forAmbassador for DEBRA Canada

Jonathan Pitre (/ˈpt/; June 2, 2000 – April 4, 2018) was a Canadian from Russell, Ontario, a small town near Ottawa. Pitre was born with a rare genetic mutation called recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB), which causes external and internal blistering across the body. His situation gained widespread attention in October 2012 when he was interviewed by the Ottawa Citizen,[1] and he became an ambassador for DEBRA Canada,[2] a charity devoted to the support and awareness of EB.[3]

On November 21, 2014, the Ottawa Senators made him an "honorary scout" on a one-day ceremonial contract.[4] 2015 saw Pitre address a We Day crowd in Ottawa, and attend the NHL Awards in Las Vegas, invited by the Ottawa Senators, his favourite hockey team. A later TSN documentary about him won a Canadian Screen Award.[5] In July 2018, the Ontario Ball Hockey Association (OBHA) will hold a tournament in his honour, with part of the entry fee donated to DEBRA Canada.[6]

Pitre received a stem cell transplant at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota on September 8, 2016, using cells taken from the hip of his mother, Tina Boileau.[7] That transplant failed; while waiting for another one he was visited by the Ottawa Senators, who came to his hospital after arriving in the Twin Cities to play the Minnesota Wild in an NHL game.[8]

Pitre died of complications from septic shock on April 4, 2018 in Minnesota.[9] An outpouring of support was received by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Mayor of Ottawa Jim Watson, the Ottawa Senators, and many others.[10] The Ottawa Senators development camp named an award in his honour called the Jonathan Pitre Award, which is given out to the hardest-working players in the camp [11]


  1. ^ Andrew Duffy, "Q and A with Jonathan Pitre". October 21, 2014. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  2. ^ "Jonathan Pitre - DEBRA". Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  3. ^ Who is DEBRA Canada?
  4. ^ "'Butterfly Child' Jonathan Pitre joins Sens scouting staff (with video)". Ottawa Citizen. 2014-11-21. Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  5. ^ Andrew Duffy, "TSN documentary on Jonathan Pitre wins screen award". Ottawa Citizen. March 9, 2016. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  6. ^ Robillard, Jamie. "Ontario Ball Hockey Association". Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  7. ^ "From mother to son: Ottawa's 'Butterfly Boy,' Jonathan Pitre, infused with mom's stem cells", National Post, September 8, 2016.
  8. ^ "Ottawa Senators take detour on road trip, surprise 'Butterfly Boy' Jonathan Pitre days before stem cell transplant", National Post, March 30, 2017.
  9. ^ Andrew Duffy, "'I can’t imagine my life without him': 'Butterfly Boy' Jonathan Pitre dies aged 17", National Post, April 6, 2018.
  10. ^ Megan Gillis, "UPDATED: The world reacts to the passing of Jonathan Pitre". April 6, 2018. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  11. ^ Ken Warren, "Senator forever: Jonathan Pitre's name lives on at development camp". July 2, 2018. Retrieved September 19, 2018.

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