As another year draws to a close and we reflect on the joy and power of philanthropy, we’re struck by what a remarkable year it’s been at the Foundation and your hospital – because of you! Thanks to your generosity, together we continue to make incredible progress on our mission to support world-class patient care at Peterborough Regional Health Centre.Continue reading
City of Kawartha Lakes parents Ian and Michelle say a dark cloud was cast over their lives last year when doctors delivered the news that their four-year-old daughter, Summer, had hepatoblastoma, a rare, “one in a million” form of liver cancer. Doctors explained that the tumour was large and perilously close to major blood vessels in Summer’s liver. Ian and Michelle were left speechless, in shock.
As the family tried to wrap their heads around their little girl’s diagnosis, Summer immediately had to begin cancer treatment in Toronto – a considerable distance from their home. They found themselves in a wild juggling act that added another layer of uncertainty and fear to the situation: uprooting their family, finding childcare for their son, requesting a leave of absence from work, and grappling with growing travel expenses.
“The trip to Toronto for Summer’s initial treatment wasn’t easy for our family,” says Michelle. “We’d hit the road at 4:45 a.m. to beat the traffic, but waking our little one so early was tough. She often felt nauseous during the drive, so we kept sickness bags handy. Our son stayed with his grandma when we had to stay in Toronto. It was heartbreaking to be separated from him.”
Relief came when doctors informed Ian and Michelle that Summer could continue her critical cancer care at Peterborough Regional Health Centre. “We can’t begin to describe what it was like to watch our child go through this. It’s a heavy burden that no child, no family should bear,” says Ian. “But getting our daughter’s care close to home made the challenges of her disease a little easier. It was a glimmer of light in our darkest hour. We were even able to be together for the holidays last year.”
He and Michelle credit generous PRHC Foundation donors for their role in Summer’s care at PRHC, since community donations – not the government – funded the incredible amount of equipment used by PRHC’s compassionate doctors, nurses and staff to provide critical cancer care services, all under one roof.
“We’ll never be able to express how truly thankful we are for donors’ past support of PRHC. They helped the experts save her life,” Michelle says.
Those wonderful healthcare providers are another reason the family is grateful for Summer’s care being delivered at PRHC. “The doctors and nurses treated us like extended family,” says Ian.
Today, Summer is happy and healthy, doing all the things a five-year-old should be doing: dancing, gymnastics, and making her wish list for Santa. Ian and Michelle now take each day as it comes, cherishing every moment with their young family and being mindful of how precious their time together is.
Getting care close to home had such an impact on them that they want to make sure it remains a possibility for others from across the region. “After Summer’s treatment, we decided to become donors. We wanted to do something to help. To say thank you for the extraordinary care Summer received, while making things more bearable for other families like ours, for all patients at PRHC,” says Ian.
Those patients come from the city and county of Peterborough, Northumberland County, east Durham, the Haliburton Highlands, and Lindsay and the City of Kawartha Lakes. In fact, the hospital serves a population of 600,000 people. That means there a lot of loved ones across our region who might have to seek care from PRHC during one of the toughest moments in their lives.
That’s why, at this time of year especially, ambassadors like Ian and Michelle are asking you to reflect on the importance of family and community and decide to help more patients get the care they need, where and when they need it most – right here – by donating to the PRHC Foundation.
You, too, can help shape the future of patient care at your hospital. To donate or for more information, call 705-876-5000 or click here.
Recently, Natasha from Jellybean’s Market in Peterborough shared with us the inspiration behind her ornament fundraiser in support of cancer care at Peterborough Regional Health Centre:
“If you know me personally, you know my dad has been fighting stage 4 Non-Hodgkin lymphoma for almost a year. Although he will never be cancer-free, he is most definitely a survivor.”
To help him say thanks for his care at PRHC, Natasha and her daughter joined forces to design and produce two different customizable Christmas ornaments. A portion of proceeds from each ornament sold will help support cancer care close to home at PRHC!
Ornaments are available to order online up to Christmas:
The PRHC Foundation is pleased to launch the second episode of Heart of Healthcare! Episode 2 features guest Bill Blair, a retired accountant, avid cyclist and former long-time PRHC Foundation Board member and current committee member.Continue reading