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  • The donors: Benoit Lefebvre and Marie-Pier Savaria
  • The gift: Creating the Justin Lefebvre Foundation
  • The reason: To help children play sports and support organ donation programs

Justin Lefebvre was just eight years old when he died after an accident at a friend’s swimming pool in June, 2017.

The accident left his family shattered, but in their grief they learned something remarkable about their son. He’d signed an organ donation card and now his kidneys, heart and liver had saved the lives of four children. “We don’t know the names of the children,” Justin’s father Benoit Lefebvre recalled from the family’s home in Sherbrooke, Que. “We just know that it was children younger than ours. We’re very proud of that.”

A few months after the tragedy Mr. Lefebvre and his wife, Marie-Pier Savaria, created the Justin Lefebvre Foundation. They dedicated it to promoting organ donation programs and helping low income children play sports, something Justin loved. The couple have raised $200,000 for the foundation so far and the money has helped 20 children participate in hockey and other sports, funded school supplies for 10 other kids and supported a range of organ donation programs.

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Mr. Lefebvre, who runs an electronics business called Électro-Techno Automation Inc., said the foundation has helped ease the pain of their loss and provided a lasting tribute to Justin. “It’s the reason why we do this. It’s to help us to pass over this tragic event,” he said. “Through family and friends, it’s possible.”

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