Sudbury man swims 150km for MS

Published July 24, 2022 4:00 p.m. ET

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Matthieu Bonin returns to shore in Little Current on July 17. (Photo credit: Jessica McShane)

Matthieu Bonin started the year with a plan to swim 350km around Manitoulin Island to raise funds and awareness for multiple sclerosis.

Speaking with CTV Northern Ontario Sunday, Bonin reflected on his attempt.

He planned this swim to honour the memory of his aunt, Claire Poirier, who passed away with MS.

“This swim is to raise funds and awareness for Multiple Sclerosis research. It was meant to achieve the impossible. I wanted to be a sign post of a world free of MS,” stated Bonin.

Bonin’s goal is to raise $100,000 for Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada’s We Challenge MS Campaign.

“It represents one dollar for every Canadian that has MS,” he said.

On July 1, Bonin started his journey in Little Current, but cold water temperatures and unsafe conditions forced him to end the journey after only 3 days.

“By the third day the water temperatures were in the 40s,” Bonin said.

“It was unsafe.”

Bonin ended up with a mild case of hypothermia and had to stop just short of 50kms into his journey.

Undeterred, he came up with a new plan, which he now refers to as phase 2.

On July 11, Bonin re-entered the water, this time in Meldrum Bay, swimming back to Little Current, finishing on July 17.

In the end he swam about 150km including the entire northern side of Manitoulin Island.

In total Bonin raised about $25,000 for MS so far this summer.

“There is no way I could have achieved this on my own,” he said, indicating there were too many individuals on his team to thank individually.

“To do amazing things you need amazing people.”

However, he went on to thank his captain, Christine Arsenault, who was there every stroke of the way and kept him safe.

More information on Matthieu’s journey and how to donate can be found here.

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