Weeks before David Fortin's 22nd birthday, the RCMP has released an artist's rendition of what Fortin might look like now, seven years after his disappearance from his home in Quebec's Saguenay region.

His mother, Caroline Lachance, was on hand as the portrait was unveiled Wednesday at an event marking National Missing Children's Day.

"Living through the disappearance of a child turns lives upside down forever; not just for parents but for the entire family. Our lives aren't the same. We miss them every day," she said.

Caroline Lachance

Caroline Lachance, David Fortin's mother, says she still hopes to one day hug her son again. (CBC)

Never showed up to school

David Fortin went missing Feb. 10, 2009. He was 14 years old at the time.

mtl-fortin-poster-0310

David Fortin, 14, has been missing since Feb. 10, 2009. (CBC)

He was last seen leaving his home in Alma on his way to school. His parents thought he had set out to catch his bus, but he never showed up to class.

After he disappeared, Fortin's parents revealed he had been bullied. The night before he disappeared, he complained that someone was threatening to hurt him.

Living nightmare

Lachance told reporters even if the chances are low, she still holds out hope that Fortin will return.

"I often tell myself one day I'll wake up, and it was a nightmare – that I never lived through the last seven years. I hope, I hope that David, wherever he is, that he comes back, and I can hold him in my arms," she said.

Anyone with information about Fortin's whereabouts is asked to contact Quebec provincial police at 1-800-659-4264 or the Missing Children's Network at 1-888-692-4673.