Victoria Hospitals Foundation Featured Athlete -Pete Perrin
“Number one is just to gain a passion for running. To love the morning, to love the trail, to love the pace on the track. And if some kid gets really good at it, that’s cool too.”– Pat Tyson
Pete Perrin didn’t start off as a runner, but after two major knee surgeries in his late teens left him searching for a new sport, the now-24 year old has made a name for himself as a mid- to long-distance runner in Victoria.
Adopted when he was just 3 years old from Haiti, Pete arrived in Canada speaking fluent French and expressing a keen interest in sports, especially soccer. Determined to keep their active son engaged, Pete’s parents enrolled him in soccer lessons just one year later where he quickly excelled. He was a fast runner, enthusiastic teammate and fierce competitor. He loved the sport and, along with his other early passion for cooking, it became an integral part of his identity. That is, however, until severe knee pain in his early teens rendered him unable to play high-level soccer without pain.
Upon investigation, it was determined that malnutrition as an infant had long-term side effects on his knee joints and bones. At 15, Pete underwent his first knee surgery to address pain that had persisted for several years. Only a few short months later he underwent his second surgery, although this time it was emergency surgery to address internal inflammation that had caused his knee to swell to twice its normal size in the span of only a few hours.
Both of his surgeries were performed by Dr. Norgrove Penny and took place at Victoria General Hospital (VGH), as did portions of his rehabilitation. Pete accredits his eventual recovery to the outstanding physicians, nurses, and ICU staff at VGH, as well as the physiotherapists who directed his rehabilitation program and encouraged him throughout the often frustrating recovery process.
When Pete was told he may never play soccer or run again, he was heartbroken. It was an extremely nerve wracking thing to hear for someone whose passion and identity was being active and competitive. Working with the physicians and physiotherapists post-operatively however, kept him focused on the task at hand; by channeling his competitive nature into his recovery process, Pete found himself recovering better than anyone had anticipated.
Just 3 years after his second surgery, Pete’s mother encouraged him to enter the TC10K which ultimately proved to be a pivotal event in his life. The race rekindled his love of competition and he discovered a new interest in long-distance running – he hasn’t looked back since. Following that 2012 TC10K race, Pete has completed over 100 runs ranging from 5km to 42km. In the 2015 TC10K he placed 6th overall. His goal this year is to achieve a personal best time and run under 34 minutes. He trains between 40 and 60km per week and has aspirations of training on the Canadian national team and competing internationally.
Pete Perrin is committed to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s (VHF) vision – exceptional care through inspired giving – and will be running for VHF’s team, Heroes for Hospitals. His hope is to raise money for this year’s cause which is close to his heart, Neurology and Rehabilitation care at Royal Jubilee Hospital (RJH) and Victoria General Hospital (VGH). Just like his fellow Heroes for Hospitals teammates, he too wants to support the purchase of equipment that will make a significant impact on others’ lives, just as he experienced at VGH.
Following the frustration, fear, and eventual successful recovery from his surgeries, Pete feels humble and incredibly appreciative of being able to return to his passion of athletic competition that his surgeries and rehabilitation have enabled. He also wants to support others who may be going through similar rehabilitation processes by funding equipment that will make a difference, and by sharing his optimism and success story.
Author: Liz Fenje