PRHC atrium named in honour of Dr. Anne Keenleyside’s $2 million legacy gift in support of cancer care innovation

The atrium of Peterborough Regional Health Centre’s (PRHC) fourth-floor lobby has been freshly unveiled as the Anne Keenleyside & Family Atrium. The naming is in honour of a $2 million estate gift to the Peterborough Regional Health Centre Foundation from Dr. Anne Keenleyside, a highly respected Trent University professor of bioarcheology who passed away in October of 2022 after succumbing to cancer.

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The Lloyds are part of a cycle of generosity that spans generations

Griffith Lloyd says, “It’s incredible to think about how much our lives today are shaped by the legacy of those who came before us.”

The cottage where he and his wife, Tina, spend half the year is housed on land passed down from his grandfather to his children. Griffith first stepped foot on this land at seven weeks old, a tiny baby bundled in the arms of his mother. “So, you can just imagine how much this place means to me, even all these decades later!” he says.

Griffith and Tina hand-built the cottage themselves. With painstaking determination, they pushed up big frames for the walls and installed ceiling beams. It was a labour of love that they worked on, together. “In fact, everything we’ve done throughout our 63-year marriage has been accomplished as a team,” says Griffith. “But it’s also been accomplished thanks to the generosity of our parents. Now, we’re working on paying that good fortune forward.”

One way they’ve chosen to do that is by supporting Peterborough Regional Health Centre, their regional hospital, through the PRHC Foundation. While they haven’t yet needed care from the hospital themselves, they find it reassuring to know there is such a well-equipped facility close to home.

Griffith and Tina first gave to PRHC through a 10-year endowment, and now they give what they can each year. “We see philanthropy as a special way to thank our parents for all they did for us,” explains Griffith. “Both Tina and I were shown the value of hard work and kindness by our families… And, unfortunately, we were also shown the critical importance of good healthcare.”

When Griffith and Tina first met working at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) in the 1950s, he was surprised to discover her father was none other than his public school vice principal. “You could say he and I were already familiar with one another – I spent a good chunk of my school career warming the bench outside of his office. I’m lucky he didn’t hold it against me,” jokes Griffith. He and Tina’s father actually became close friends – Griffith looked to him as another father figure in his life.

Unfortunately, their relationship ended all too soon. Tina’s father was only in his late 40s when he first developed a heart problem that worsened over the years until he couldn’t even catch his breath. He passed away on the very day he was meant to attend a party celebrating his own retirement. “Unfortunately, his premature death meant that he lost out on the chance to meet all of his amazing grandchildren,” says Griffith.

Griffith’s father was more fortunate. He spent more than 30 years enjoying retirement, including lots of time with his grandchildren, before he passed away. “We wish Tina’s father had that same opportunity – and we believe that, with more recent advances in science, he could have lived longer. No family should lose out on the chance to share those precious years with their loved ones.” By supporting PRHC, Griffith and Tina are choosing to invest in both innovation and quality care, which might give other families more of that valuable time together.

“We want our local hospital to be able to keep pace with the rapid evolutions in technology, and we’ve been delighted to see our gifts put to use helping to update vital equipment. Believe me when I say, it’s truly gratifying to see your money doing good in your community,” says Griffith. “And while we’ve ensured our children and grandchildren will be taken care of beyond our years, it feels equally important to leave behind something more: we want to continue a legacy of generosity.”

They plan to allot a portion of their estate to organizations like the PRHC Foundation and hope their philanthropic example will inspire generations to come, just as they’ve been inspired by those who came before them. “As our families showed Tina and me, each of us has the opportunity to do good in this world. It’s what we choose to make of that opportunity that truly determines our legacy,” says Griffith.

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.

Donor-funded care close to home kept a young cancer patient’s family together at the holidays – help them ensure the same for others

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.

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!

PRHC designated a Level III Trauma Centre

Earlier this year, Peterborough Regional Health Centre received official designation as a Level III Trauma Centre. As a result, the hospital now has a recognized trauma program that, for the first time, is part of the provincial network, with access to its resources. A PRHC trauma director and team have been appointed to further develop PRHC’s trauma system.

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Find out how, like Ivo, you can create a legacy for those you love most

Ivo Nightingale is a proud PRHC Foundation legacy donor. He explains why planned giving is important to him:

“For my wife, Lynda, and I, there were so many reasons we chose to make the Peterborough region our home: the people, the great theatre, our daughter and two grandchildren living nearby. But would it surprise you to know that PRHC was also a factor?

We knew, when we were deciding where to retire, that we’d likely need a great hospital eventually. And we were right. From stroke treatment, to cancer care, to emergency surgery, PRHC’s been there for our family through thick and thin. Maybe you’ve had a similar experience?

Lynda and I are so grateful for the amazing care we’ve received at PRHC. So, when our financial advisor suggested that we could reduce our estate taxes with a gift in our will, the PRHC Foundation felt like a natural fit.

It feels wonderful to know that we can provide for our family and grandchildren in our wills and leave them another gift: an exceptional regional hospital. Our gift today will make a difference tomorrow!”

For more information about making a gift through your Will to the PRHC Foundation, please call Lesley Heighway, President & CEO, at 705-743-2121, ext. 3859 or send her an email.

Always consult a professional financial advisor to discuss the best charitable giving options for you.

Your donations made it happen! New CTs are helping care providers see problems more clearly and safely

PRHC Foundation donors made it possible for the hospital to replace and upgrade outdated equipment with two new, cutting-edge CT scanners. Now, the team that uses them every day, has given us a special update about the impacts this $4.55 million investment is having on the care they provide to people from across our region.

CT scanners are essential. They’re the backbone of diagnostic imaging, used to visualize and confirm a wide range of illness and injury, such as blood clots, cancers, spinal issues, head injuries, fractures, obstructions, stroke, and cardiac disease, among many others. In a typical year at PRHC, around 33,000 CT scans are performed on approximately 28,000 patients. 

Dr. Rola Shaheen, PRHC Physician Chief and Medical Director of Diagnostic Imaging, explains that these scans are different than those provided by the old machines. “The new scanners are better at imaging everything. Images are clearer, more comprehensive and more precise, allowing for more accurate diagnosis. While image quality has vastly improved, the radiation dosage used is lower, which is safer for both the patient and the technologist,” she says.

“Also, with the new scanners, technologists can now perform cardiac CT imaging and brain perfusion exams for stroke patients. The machines also include an interventional radiology package, which supports more accurate biopsies. The old equipment didn’t have these capabilities.”

Dr. Shaheen and her colleagues are very grateful to donors for funding the CT scanners. “Thank you for understanding the value of state-of-the-art equipment. Thank you for funding the technology that helps me and my team care for our patients and do our jobs to the best of our abilities,” she says.

Brandon Ray, PRHC Senior Technologist, CT, agrees. “It’s wonderful to be able to offer safer, more accurate scans. The CT beds are also wider and offer more movement function than the old ones, so that makes the experience more comfortable and easier for the patient, especially those in pain,” he says. “Thank you, donors!”

For more information on the impact of your generosity, call 705-876-5000.

Jennie Ireland says thanks

If you’ve lived with cancer or supported a loved one through treatment, you know how hard it is. Not only the illness itself, but the treatment, too. Cancer care patient Jennie Ireland explains that that’s why receiving care at Peterborough Regional Health Centre was her lifeline. She says it’s thanks to caring people like you that she’s now cancer-free, because PRHC Foundation donors funded the equipment her doctors used to save her life.

“Being able to get my treatment in my community meant less worry and I believe, had a positive impact on my recovery. Without it, I would have had to travel to Toronto, Oshawa or even Kingston, for months on end,” says Jennie. “So, I’m so thankful to donors for all the ways you’ve supported cancer care at our hospital. Your donations really do make a difference. I know I didn’t realize the full extent, though, until I experienced it firsthand.”

There are many more patients like Jennie. With rising patient volumes, especially in cancer care, our region needs the latest technology to help doctors find and treat complex cases faster and more safely, shorten wait times, and save more lives. That’s why supporting investments in essential areas that support cancer care, like interventional radiology, is crucial. And it’s just one of the areas PRHC is investing in to address this demand.

One of the important upgrades needed as part of PRHC’s $6 million investment in minimally invasive interventional radiology is an advanced, portable ultrasound machine. The latest interventional radiology ultrasound systems provide fast, detailed imaging for the most accurate visualization and advanced needle navigational assistance – critical in finding a safe path to the desired area inside the body without puncturing vessels, bowel or other organs.

At PRHC, interventional radiology ultrasound is used during tumour or organ lesion biopsies and in the placement of port-a-caths and PICC lines – which allow for less obvious, longterm access to chemotherapy, with less risk of infection.

Jennie had a PICC line inserted in an interventional radiology procedure at PRHC as part of her cancer treatment. She says she was terrified, but because it was done locally her mom could come with her. She explains what it meant to her:

“After I was diagnosed with an aggressive, fast-growing tumour that had spread to my lymph nodes, my days were filled with scans, surgeries, and rounds of chemo and radiation. I quickly became familiar with every corner of the hospital – even places I’d never heard of like interventional radiology.

“That’s where they put my PICC line in,” she adds. “This was the ‘port’ that was used to deliver my chemotherapy. It stayed in my arm for months, giving me longterm access to treatment, with less risk of infection. I could shower or even swim with it.”

PICC lines and other similar, implantable devices make life a little easier for patients when it really counts. With advanced new interventional radiology ultrasound technology that has improved image quality for vessel analysis, placement of these devices will be even easier for interventional radiologists – and their patients. The new equipment will also help in procedures where placing drains under image guidance is crucial, such as biliary, gallbladder, kidney and abscess tube insertions.

Jennie says, “It’s all this behind-the-scenes, donor-funded care that makes it possible for our hospital to provide lifesaving treatment – right here in Peterborough – under one roof. I can’t tell you what a relief it was that I could focus solely on my health without the added stress of arranging travel, meals, and lodging. My dad drove me to my appointments. My mom cooked dinner on infusion days when I was at my weakest and dealing with chemo side effects. Most importantly, I didn’t have to disrupt my son’s daily routine.”

Care close to home made a difference for Jennie and her family. She became a donor to the PRHC Foundation to help PRHC upgrade their cancer care technology so that more patients like her can get the care they need, where they need it most. You too can help shape the future of patient care at your hospital. To donate in support of this exciting interventional radiology investment or for more information, call 705-876-5000 or click here.