You’re invited to Bennett’s first annual Designer Tree Benefit

Are you ready for some festive fun? Then get your tickets for Bennett’s Furniture and Mattresses’ first annual Peterborough Designer Tree Benefit on December 1st! Featuring food and beverage tastings, silent auction items, door prizes, live music, Christmas photos, an exclusive shopping surprise AND a chance to win a beautiful, professionally designed Christmas tree – with proceeds supporting PRHC.

Two types of tickets are available now from all Bennett’s locations:

  • $50 to attend the benefit in person
  • $25 to view and enter for a door prize online

To learn more, visit Bennett’s website.

Donor support helping surgeons see better to do better in PRHC’s operating rooms

With donor support, PRHC will introduce fluorescence-guided imaging technology to the hospital’s general operating suites for the first time. This innovation is part of a replacement and upgrading of outdated surgical tools, allowing PRHC’s general surgeons to perform minimally invasive procedures with GPS-like precision – with less risk of complications for patients.

With fluorescence-guided imaging, contrast dyes or agents are injected into the patient’s bloodstream prior to surgery, making anatomical features, organs, nerves or even cancer cells, light up. That highlighting will help doctors use other new, advanced equipment, like ultra-high-definition scopes and monitors, enhanced cameras, and improved light sources, to locate, remove and reconnect tissues. PRHC general surgeon Dr. Joslin Cheverie explains why this is so important for patient care, using a common bowel surgery as an example.

“When a diseased or cancerous portion of colon is removed, the remaining healthy sections are joined back together. It’s critical that the repaired section have healthy blood flow, or the patient is at greater risk of complications,” she says. “With this technology, I’ll be able to make better, more informed decisions during surgery.”

Fluorescence-guided imaging and state-of-the-art surgical tools are an exciting element of a wider, $13 million reinvestment in minimally invasive interventions, which also includes interventional radiology.

Replacing the hospital’s surgical technology now will ensure PRHC’s experts have better visuals to more accurately perform lifesaving and life-changing operations – like colorectal cancer surgery, emergency appendectomies, hernia repairs and gallbladder removals – right here, safely, quickly and with less wait time.

It’s donors who will make this possible, funding advances in minimally invasive technology and techniques that empower physicians like Dr. Cheverie to treat more conditions, efficiently, without big cuts, using less anesthesia, and leaving behind nothing more than a tiny scar. 

For patients, that means less pain, reduced risk of infection, shorter hospital stays, and faster recovery. This is important for all patients, but especially those vulnerable to complications, including the more than 60,000 seniors in our region.

For more information on this investment, please call 705-876-5000 or to make a donation, please click here.

How true love inspired Audrey to give back

PRHC Foundation legacy donor and hospital volunteer Audrey Ashdown

In memory of Audrey Ashdown.

Audrey Ashdown moved to Peterborough with her husband and high school sweetheart, Bill, in 1959. She felt both excited and frightened. “It was a challenging time… But I had my life’s partner by my side,” she said.

Before long, their new home was surrounded by neighbours. They were delighted to see their children grow up with so many nearby playmates. Peterborough seemed the ideal place to raise a family, but life changed abruptly in 1982, when Bill suffered his first heart attack at only 52 years old.

Bill was rushed to PRHC. Doctors and nurses were able to stabilize him and Audrey was flooded with relief. Twenty years later, she would feel the same relief when Bill suffered another heart attack and his life was saved again at PRHC.

Audrey was grateful to still have Bill by her side after multiple cardiac events. She began volunteering at the hospital – a commitment she continued into her late eighties.

Audrey lost the love of her life when Bill passed away in 2013, but she felt overwhelming gratitude for the three decades they’d shared after his first heart attack. She’d also seen advancements and expansions of hospital services during her time as a volunteer. She felt it was a fitting choice to leave a gift to PRHC Foundation in her will.

Though she made sure to provide for her children in her will, Audrey viewed her legacy gift as one that would ultimately give back to them, too. “I want to ensure that my children, grandchildren, neighbours and friends will receive the same high calibre healthcare that I have benefited from,” she explained.

Audrey’s children are proud that their mother’s generosity has continued to make an impact on the community since her passing in 2021. Her legacy gift has helped sustain services at PRHC, providing high-quality care for people from across the region. Through her bequest, Audrey’s kindness lives on.

For more information on legacy and planned giving, or to share your legacy donor story, please contact Lesley Heighway, President & CEO, at 705-743-2121, ext. 3859 or send her an email.

Jennie says thanks for her care by helping ensure others can get the care they need

It was 5:30 p.m. by the time Jennie Ireland got the diagnosis she’d been dreading. Suddenly, she was a 42-year-old single mom with a seven-year-old son, aging parents, and she’d just been diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Looking back, it was an awful time,” Jennie says. On sleepless nights, she worried about what her illness would mean for her son, Liam. Could she take him to hockey practice and help him with his schoolwork? Would she be there to watch him grow up? “But I refused to give up hope,” she says. “And receiving care at PRHC was my lifeline.”

Jennie explains that being able to get care in her community with donor-funded technology meant less worry. Without it, she would have had to travel to Toronto, Oshawa or even Kingston for months on end. “I believe it had a positive impact on my recovery,” she says. “Because I was able to get care close to home, I could focus on what mattered most: Getting better and keeping life as normal as possible for my son.”

Like many people, Jennie was surprised to find out that the government doesn’t fund hospital equipment and that a population of more than 600,000 relies on PRHC for care. This includes people from the city and county of Peterborough, the City of Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland County, east Durham, and the Haliburton Highlands.

Patients come to PRHC with a wide range of needs, from treatment for cancer, heart attacks and strokes, to surgery or mental health care. They may be seeking treatment in an emergency, or because of a chronic condition. Whatever the reason, Jennie wants to ensure that like her, others can get the care they need, close to home.

“I became a donor, volunteer fundraiser and a PRHC Foundation ambassador to help our hospital upgrade its technology so that more patients like me can get the care they need when they need it most,” says Jennie. “But PRHC can only do it with our help. I’d like everyone who can to join me in donating so doctors, nurses and staff have the best equipment to provide the best care.”

To donate, please call 705-876-5000 or click here.

A record-breaking donation from Peterborough’s Dragon Boat Festival!

Peterborough's Dragon Boat Festival cheque presentation to the PRHC Foundation

October 11th we joined the Peterborough’s Dragon Boat Festival Planning Committee, the Survivors Abreast Dragon Boat Team, Platinum Sponsor Kawartha Credit Union, volunteers, and supporters at the Crescent St. t-wharf for a celebration of the Festival’s record-breaking year. They presented the PRHC Foundation with a cheque for $290,025.18 – the largest single donation in the Festival’s history! 

PRHC Foundation President & CEO, Lesley Heighway, was there to express her gratitude for the Festival’s ongoing commitment to cancer care at Peterborough Regional Health Centre, on behalf of the Foundation, hospital, patients from across the region, and their loved ones. The Festival’s record-breaking 2023 success is a testament to our wonderful community’s generosity and will to come together for such an important cause. The efforts of so many organizers, paddlers, donors, sponsors, volunteers, and vendors have contributed to this amazing achievement.

You are transforming cancer care by helping PRHC invest in state-of-the-art technology to serve more patients, support earlier diagnosis, and provide safer, more effective treatments, close to home. Thank you!