Toronto family gives $1M to Sainte-Justine Hospital to fund research in their daughter's name

The Elisa Linton Sanfilippo Research Laboratory was inaugurated Wednesday in the presence of one of the country's leading specialists who works out of Montreal.

Couple continues funding research into rare genetic disease 1 year after daughter's death

Elisabeth and Randall Linton at the inauguration event with their other two children, Connor and Jessica. (Radio-Canada)

Elisabeth and Randall Linton lost their daughter Elisa in October 2016 to a rare genetic disease called Sanfilippo Syndrome.

After her death, the couple has continued to help fund research that they hope will lead to the development of a cure.

The Lintons donated $1 million to Montreal's Sainte-Justine Hospital for the creation of a new laboratory, that will bear their daughter's name.

"This is a very special day for our family," Elisabeth Linton told Radio-Canada.

"I know that she would be delighted to know that something has been established in her name that will bring hope to other children and families."

Doctors said it was 'miraculous' that Elise (centre) lived to the age of 22. (Courtesy)

The Elisa Linton Sanfilippo Research Laboratory was inaugurated Wednesday in the presence of one of the country's leading specialists, Alexey Pshezhetsky.

Pshezhetsky, who is based out of Montreal and has been working on this illness for years, describes Sanfilippo Syndrome as being "like having Alzheimer's at 10 years old."

As a neurodegenerative disease that affects a small portion of children and teens, most patients don't live past the age of 15. 

Elisa Linton's case was described as "miraculous," as she survived until age 22.

The new laboratory was inaugurated on Wednesday, Nov. 8, on the one-year anniversary of Elisa's funeral. (Radio-Canada)

The donation announced Wednesday was made through the Sanfilippo Children's Research Foundation, the only foundation in Canada dedicated exclusively to funding research on this disease.

The Linton family has raised 7.5 million since its inception in 1999.

The Lintons were in attendance at the announcement in Montreal along with their other children, Jessica and Connor.

With files from Radio-Canada's Anne-Louise Despatie