Today, at 3 and a half, Hugo is a child like any other.
He is full of life.
And since September, he has been going to school, in the small nursery section.
A big leap for him.
And it's not the first since he was born.
Because Hugo is also a warrior, and not only with his plastic sword.
In May 2021, he overcame an adrenal gland tumor he had had since birth.
Even if he is still closely followed by the medical profession, Hugo is on the right path, that of remission.
A great victory for his parents, Ludovic Mizitrano (40) and his wife Marie (35), both school teachers in Bobigny (Seine-Saint-Denis).
A big sigh of relief, the months have been so difficult for them, but also for her big sister Julie (7 years old).
Everyone has found a solution to deal with the immeasurable illness of a child.
“In our misfortune, we drew the right number, says this courageous and joyful dad.
Sure enough, Hugo was born with a tumor the size of a ping-pong ball on his kidney.
But it was not invasive.
On the other hand, it was necessary to wait until Hugo was older to attempt the operation.
The appointment is made for the month of May 2021.
As a first challenge, Ludovic Mizitrano imagines going up the Seine in a canoe
In these cases, everyone manages the wait in their own way.
For Ludovic, rather overactive, it is out of the question to wait without doing anything.
After all these months spent on the 9th floor of the Gustave-Roussy Institute in Villejuif (Val-de-Marne) and faced with the benevolence of the teaching staff, but also the courage of the families he meets in the pediatrics department, there is definitely something to do.
"I thought why not create an association that would do sporting challenges to raise funds to help these families, who are often helpless in the face of their child's illness.
This is how Team Hugo was born.
As a first challenge, Ludovic Mizitrano, who lives on the banks of the Marne in Bry-sur-Marne (Val-de-Marne), imagines going up the Seine in a canoe.
"I didn't want to do that with a gun," explains Ludovic.
Physically, I wanted to be well.
I prepared for this challenge for a year.
I also took canoeing and kayaking lessons at the CKCF in Bry-sur-Marne.
I spoke about it to my childhood friend, Guillaume, who told me that he was on board too.
“These ten days allowed us to live an incredible adventure”
Together, the pair embarked on the adventure on July 14, 2022. “We left Bougival in the Yvelines because crossing the Seine is prohibited in Paris.
We had three fears, going through the locks, crossing the big boats and crossing Rouen which is prohibited.
“A sacred journey of 350 km on the Seine to Honfleur (Seine-Maritime) in the space of ten days and about thirty km daily.
“The sporting challenge has been achieved since we arrived on July 24 in Honfleur.
But these ten days allowed us to live an incredible adventure.
We could see how magnificent the landscapes around the Seine were.
There is an unsuspected richness.
The other discovery was this formidable chain of solidarity which was set up along our route.
Nearly 17,000 euros raised
Just like in Vernon (Eure), when Ludovic and Guillaume meet Father Gaston who blesses their canoe.
Then this meeting with this retired couple, who hosts them and gives them an address for the next step.
There are also the lock keepers of the Pont de Tancarville, who welcome them and follow them until their departure the next day.
In parallel with this crossing of the Seine, Team Hugo raised funds for their kitty.
“We expected to collect 3,000 or 4,000 euros, continues Ludovic.
However, we are at nearly 17,000 euros.
Faced with such an amount, the Gustave-Roussy Institute wants to make a reception to mark the occasion.
Donors like, on September 4, the organizers of a foot race which took place in Perreux-sur-Marne, who donated 1,200 euros, or 2 euros per participant to the association.
“Our association is just an intermediary between the donor and the Gustave-Roussy Institute, specifies Ludovic Mizitrano.
By going through our website, the donor is referred to the Institute.
The money is never in our hands, it is much easier for us to manage.
An association open to all
As a result, Ludovic Mizitrano imagines Team Hugo as a participatory place where everyone can come up with their idea.
“We do not want to work with members or licensees.
We prefer that people donate their money directly to the Institute, rather than paying for a license.
Nevertheless, the association remains open to all.
And if tomorrow, someone wants to set up a sporting challenge, not necessarily by canoe, but by bike, or on foot, we will gladly accompany them.
“This is also the case since a friend has the project to make the Diagonales des fous in Reunion to inflate even more the kitty of Team Hugo.
Marie admires the path taken by Ludovic over the past three years.
“When we learned of Hugo's illness, Ludovic did not want to take him in his arms.
Surely because he was afraid to get attached to him and see him disappear.
We have been through some tough times as parents.
I saw him chomping at the bit.
He used his energy to create this beautiful association.
I'm proud of him.
One day perhaps, we will take up a sporting challenge with the whole family.
In any case, when his dad was crossing the Seine, Hugo was very excited…”
“This association prevented me from gambling”
That's kind of the message that Ludovic Mizitrano wants to convey.
“This association prevented me from gambling.
I tell myself that everyone can put their little piece to the building.
Everyone has either time, energy or money to devote to sick children.
Ludovic Mizitrano wants to allocate the sum collected to the reception and comfort of the children.
“Nothing has been decided yet, we will see the needs with the Institut Gustave Roussy.
One thing is certain, this money will not go to research.
We will use it to buy toys, tablets, or bring in clowns.
Our goal is to brighten the stay of children and parents in the hospital.
It's always a moment that lasts more or less long and the idea is to make it a little less painful for everyone..."