The West Island News' Hannah Johnston spoke to World Record Holder Jason Hillcoat, who has been defying physical limits and raising funds in memory of his late nephew Spencer.
It was at Westminster Pool in D.D.O. where Jason shattered the world record for the longest swim in a 25-meter pool. On July 4th, he completed his swim of 104 kilometers in 48 hours, which broke the previous world record of 101.9 kilometers.
The 48 hours symbolize the two days, or 2880 minutes that his cousin Randi and her partner Josh spent in the hospital as their son Spencer was fighting for his life. He passed away at ten days old. He lost his life to Hirschsprung disease. This disorder is characterized by the absence of nerve cells (ganglions) in an infant's bowel segment. The absence of ganglion cells causes the muscles in the bowels to lose their ability to move stool through the intestine.
PHOTO: Jason Hillcoat
"People were sharing and posting positive vibes for him to pull through. He may have only been on this earth for ten days, but his memory and spirit have inspired hundreds of people," Jason shared.
Jason has undertaken challenges that will honor the 48 hours when Spencer fought. In March of 2022, he participated in the David Goggins 4x4x48 challenge. He ran 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours. The world record swim took him 48 hours to complete, and the two Iron Mans he plans on running cumulate to 48 hours, with an upcoming race in Tremblant on August 21st.
His efforts are making waves in the community and have raised just over $22,000 for the Montréal Children's Hospital.
"His two superhuman parents have done the unthinkable; they have turned what is the worst thing that could have happened to them into a way to raise awareness and turn Spencer's story into a beacon of light and hope. In addition, they have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Montreal Children's Hospital (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) through The Spencer Julius Landau "Little Warrior" Endowment Fund," Hillcoat declared.
Jason lacks no motivation, and his commitment to helping Spencer and children like him keep his goals afloat: "my goal is to help them keep raising money for the place that fought so hard for Spencer and truly treated him as family."
To donate to the 48 Hours page on the Montréal Children's Hospital's website, visit: https://fondationduchildren.com/en/fundraising/48-hours