The brothers Beauchemin in 2013. Guillaume (right) passed away with pulmonary complications in 2014 at the age of 25, two weeks after he was fitted for his new robotics arm. His courage moved Samuel to work even harder to find money to help people suffering with illnesses and conditions similar to Guillaume. We see the brothers dressed in red tee-shirts. Samuel has his left arm around Guillaume, who sits in a wheelchair. His brown hair, lighter than his brother's, is parted on the right and he is smiling.

The brothers Beauchemin in 2013. Guillaume (right) passed away with pulmonary complications in 2014 at the age of 25, two weeks after he was fitted for his new robotics arm. His courage moved Samuel to work even harder to find money to help people suffering with illnesses and conditions similar to Guillaume.
Photo Credit: Courtesy: Fondation le Pont vers l’Autonomie

A brother’s courage stirs a life of giving

Think about it for a moment.

Think about not having the use of your arms–not being able to pick up that glass on the table, not being able to turn that door knob.

Think about not being able to do all those other things that the rest of us take for granted.

Today and tomorrow we will share the stories of two men who are doing something about the situation.

Samuel Fleurent Beauchemin helps Philippe Desrochers, 27, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy at a Christmas party at which the Fondation le Pont vers l’Autonomie gave out two robotics arms as gifts. We see Beauchemin on the right standing, wearing a dark suit and wide smile below his dark crew-cut hair. He is reaching down with his left hand to adjust something at the foot of Desrochers's wheelchair. Desrochers wears a breathing apparatus and a light sports jacket and grey pants. Attached to the front of the wheelchair is a robotics arm, which is long and thin with what appears to be a tiny computer at its top.
Samuel Fleurent Beauchemin helps Philippe Desrochers, 27, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy at a Christmas party at which the Fondation le Pont vers l’Autonomie gave out two robotics arms as gifts. © Courtesy: Fondation le Pont vers l’Autonomie

Samuel Fleurent Beauchemin, a 26-year-old resident of Victoriaville, Quebec, didn’t just think about what life is like when a person lacks the ability to use his arms.

He lived it every day as he watched his older brother, Guillaume, struggle with the ill-effects of his muscular dystrophy.

Guillaume died in 2014 at the age of 25, finally worn out from heart-breaking manifestations of his ugly disease.

Ironically, Guillaume died just two weeks after being fitted with a robotic arm that made his life slightly more bearable.

Samuel Fleurent Beauchemin at his office in Victoriaville, QC. We see him dressed in a dark suit at a desk holding a binder. In the background is a large painting of a bridge. The near support of the bridge has a rendering of the photo of the Beauchemin brothers at the top of the story.
Samuel Fleurent Beauchemin at his office in Victoriaville, QC. © Courtesy: Fondation le Pont vers l’Autonomie

In awe of his older brother’s courage, it was Beauchemin who found the money for the $50,000 purchase of that robotic arm by creating the Fondation le Pont vers l’Autonomie.

But Beauchemin did not stop there.

From 2013 to 2015, he studied at the University of Montreal, a program called Non-Profit organization management, to acquire the skills to run a foundation.

In 2014, as a “volunteer,” he raised $150,000 for others who–like Guillaume–suffered from crippling diseases

He didn’t stop there, continuing to huste for money on line (www.soyezlepont.com), hosting fundraisers and soliciting corporate donations.

In 2015, he upped the take to $400,000 and he’s not looking back.

In January, he began working full-time and drawing a salary from the Fondation le Pont vers l’Autonomie.

Now, 32 people in Quebec have robotic arms thanks to Beauchemin and his fund-raising efforts–nine with the Fondation le Pont vers l’Autonomie.

Anyone wishing to contribute can contact Beauchemin at

He joined RCI by telephone from Victoriaville.

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