Jean was diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in 1986, and had his left leg amputated above the knee in 1990. Total or partial limb amputations occur because the affected limb is no longer functional, due to impairment caused by trauma, disease, infection or defect at birth. The level of amputation will depend on the location and severity of impairment. Most amputees can be fitted with a prosthetic leg, knee or ankle, placed over the remaining part of the amputated limb, known as the ‘stump’.
According to Teammate Greg Westlake
“Jean Labonté is one of the most respected guys in the world of sledge hockey. Not only is he a great defenceman, responsible for being on the ice at all the crucial moments during a game, but he is also the captain of Team Canada. He is known for a competitive attitude by his opponents and leadership by his teammates. With a nickname like ‘The Rock’, he brings a calm presence to the team and keeps everyone’s minds on winning. Although not as much of an open-ice hitter as Scott Stevens, Jean always sticks up for his teammates and has a physical edge to his game.”