#GetInTheBoat: Peterborough’s Dragon Boat Festival is back on the water!

On Saturday June 11, 2022 Peterborough’s Dragon Boat Festival will safely welcome our community back to Little Lake at Del Crary Park in Peterborough for a great day on the water in support of PRHC Foundation and cancer care at Peterborough Regional Health Centre! Get your team together and get ready to #GetInTheBoat! More information is available online now.

We’re so grateful for this beloved event and vital fundraiser which has raised more than $3.7 million since 2001 to help fund world-class cancer and breast cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment at PRHC. Proceeds from the 2022 Festival will support the Health Centre’s continuing mission to bring the best cancer care the world has to offer, right to your regional hospital. 

With your support, PRHC will be able to serve more patients, support earlier cancer diagnosis, and ensure safer, more effective treatment, close to home. You’ll be helping the hospital invest in equipment and technology like new state-of-the-art CT scanners, a second cutting-edge MRI machine, and RIVA technology for the robotic preparation of chemotherapy. You’ll also be helping PRHC attract and retain the best and brightest healthcare professionals. 

On behalf of everyone at PRHC, especially patients and their families, thank you to the organizing committee, Survivors Abreast and all of the passionate sponsors, volunteers, participants and donors who make the Festival a success every year!

Dave’s Walk inspired our community to get involved and raise over $11,000 for PRHC!

Dave Graham holds a donation cheque

Dave Graham and his family were shocked when he was diagnosed with colon cancer in late March 2021. “But we had to keep our heads up and keep going,” he says. 74-year-old Dave truly got going. He started walking for exercise and his daily strolls gave him time to think and pray. His strong faith played a large role in carrying him through his diagnosis, then surgery a couple of months later.

Dave describes PRHC’s Cancer Clinic as another bright light at that dark time. While he wasn’t happy about why he had to go there, he found he looked forward to seeing the healthcare professionals who supported him during his twice monthly chemotherapy appointments. He appreciated their compassionate and upbeat attitudes, and straightforward approach to care.

Dave also found comfort in the support of his family, church community and close friends. One of those friends had his own personal experience with a cancer diagnosis and care at PRHC’s Cancer Clinic. Dave had always admired his friend’s positive spirit and after his diagnosis, appreciated it even more. “And there are so many people with cancer,” Dave says. “They’re all suffering and struggling, and I wanted to inspire them the way my friend inspired me.”

While experiencing great care and with so much support around him, Dave decided that something good had to come from his diagnosis. He was moved to give back to his hospital and his community.

Dave approached the PRHC Foundation, and with a little help, set up a fundraising initiative as a way to say thank you to PRHC’s Cancer Care team and contribute to the care of other cancer patients. He couldn’t have known then the extent of the positive impact his fundraiser would have.

Dave set a big goal: Walk 7,000 steps a day through mid-December when his chemotherapy was due to end, and raise $5,000 to help fund the equipment and technology PRHC’s doctors, nurses and staff use every day to provide outstanding cancer care to patients from around the region, close to home.

The community’s response to Dave’s fundraiser was overwhelming. Not only did people donate, they reached out with prayers and words of encouragement and thanks. Dave received emails and phone calls, sometimes from acquaintances he hadn’t seen in years.

“One day the doorbell rang,” Dave says. “And there was a man I worked with 30 years ago. He’d heard about the fundraiser and wanted to personally give me a $100 donation and wish me well.”

People Dave has never met reached out, too. “I’ve received notes from strangers, people who are also going through cancer or have a family member with cancer,” he says. “They’d say, ‘we’re all going through this, we have to help each other.’”

The support of his community inspired Dave all over again. “Some mornings instead of getting up to walk at 6am, I just wanted to stay in bed. But my community kept me going,” he says. “All these people were walking with me.”

Soon Dave surpassed his $5,000 goal and he raised the bar to $10,000. The area’s residents responded once more, taking Dave’s Walk from one man’s objective to “a team effort,” Dave says.

PRHC Foundation President & CEO, Lesley Heighway, describes the ripple effect community fundraisers have. “They give people hope and it inspires other people to consider making a difference of their own by doing something similar,” she says. “Financially, fundraisers are extremely important for our hospital, but they also galvanize people. They bring people together. Dave inspired others to think ‘Wow, look at what he’s doing. Maybe I could do something similar.’”

Dave’s fundraiser grew beyond a single walk to a series of creative initiatives as more and more people were motivated to get involved.  

His daughter Leslie and son Matt organized a Hair & Handlebar shave with the hope of raising $1,000 to contribute to their father’s goal. Over $2,000 later, Leslie shaved her head and Matt sacrificed his signature moustache for the cause.

Dave’s wife, Liz, wasn’t to be outdone. “I baked 11 dozen shortbreads and pickled two big lots of beets to sell on Facebook,” she says. “And then my hairdresser heard about it and took six dozen of the cookies.” Other businesses in the region also reached out to make donations.

In December, Dave finished his chemotherapy and his walk, having taken 765,000 steps in his journey to say thanks for great care and help ensure patients like him continue to receive advanced, personalized cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment at PRHC.

PRHC Foundation President & CEO, Lesley Heighway, explains that since the government doesn’t fund hospital equipment, PRHC relies on community donations to fund the tools Health Centre experts use every day. “All of those gifts come together to enable the great care that we have here,” she says. “It’s also a huge morale boost when staff and medical professionals see what people like Dave are undertaking in the community to ensure that the next person who comes after them can have access to world-class care.”

Shortly after Dave finished his walk and treatment, the PRHC Foundation was grateful to receive $11,111 in donations collected through his fundraiser. And then Dave and Liz topped even that amount! “A Christmas card came with $50 in it,” says Liz. “So we added that to the donation to bring it to $11,161.”

“This experience was so humbling,” says Dave. “It’s an experience I wouldn’t have wanted to miss. I know at my age I won’t have a chance to do something like this again for my community. I feel fulfilled.”

The PRHC Foundation is incredibly grateful for the generosity of Dave and Liz, their family, friends and congregation, and the wider community who donated and contributed their time and support to Dave’s Walk. The funds raised are enabling PRHC to invest in advanced new CT scanner and MRI technology used in the diagnosis of cancer, and a state-of-the-art robotic intravenous automation (RIVA) system to ensure every complex, patient-specific chemotherapy dose is prepared safely and accurately in a sterile, automated environment.  

It’s donors who make the difference between good and great care. On behalf of PRHC, especially patients and their families, thank you to everyone involved in this generous initiative.

If you’d like to learn more about organizing your own personal fundraiser, please visit our Events page.

Dave’s Walk for PRHC Cancer Care

Dave Graham has been so moved by his Peterborough Regional Health Centre care experience that he’s saying “thanks” and giving back to his community by dedicating his daily walks in support of the PRHC Foundation and Cancer Care at PRHC.

Dave’s original goal was to walk 735,000 steps by December 17th when he’s due to finish treatment, and raise $5,000 to help fund the state-of-the-art equipment and technology used by PRHC’s Cancer Care team to provide exceptional, compassionate care to patients from across the region.

But the response of our comunity has been so great, that Dave has already passed his $5,000 goal and he’s been inspired all over again! Dave has raised the bar and his new goal is to raise $10,000 by the end of his walk. Wow, thank you, Dave, and we wish you all the best! 

You can follow Dave’s progress, send him a message of encouragement or donate online at his personal fundraising page.

Lions Club of Peterborough donates in support of world-class care!

Lions Club of Peterborough makes a donation

Thank you, Lions Club of Peterborough, for supporting world-class care at your regional hospital! This wonderful donation of $1,600 from the Lions will help fund the equipment and technology that support the Cardiac Cath Lab and Paediatric Oncology at Peterborough Regional Health Centre.

Thanks to donors like the Lions, we can help ensure our families, friends, and neighbours can continue to get world-class cardiac care, right here in our community, when every second counts.

And it’s with the support from donors, that PRHC is home to a Paediatric Oncology Satellite Clinic in partnership with the Paediatric Oncology Group of Ontario (POGO) and SickKids Hospital. As a result, fewer children have to travel for lifesaving cancer treatment, helping ease the burden for patients and families.

2021 Peterborough’s Dragon Boat Festival raises $91,853.20!

Peterborough's Dragon Boat Festival 2021 cheque presentation

PRHC Foundation was honoured to receive the proceeds from the 2021 Peterborough’s Dragon Boat Festival – an amazing $91,853.20! Wow! Thank you!

2021 marked the Festival’s 20th anniversary and their second year as a virtual event. Their incredible 2021 donation brings their 20-year fundraising total to more than $3.7 million for breast cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment at Peterborough Regional Health Centre. 

The proceeds of this year’s Festival will help fund a new, state-of-the-art diagnostic ultrasound for the Breast Assessment Centre – enabling even better quality images so radiologists can detect the smallest and most difficult-to-see abnormalities quickly and accurately. It’s cutting-edge technology that will help our doctors, nurses and staff save lives.

Thank you so much to the Survivors Abreast Dragon Boat Team, the amazing organizing committee, Platinum Sponsor Kawartha Credit Union, and all the participants, fundraisers, sponsors, volunteers and donors who made this possible. We hope to see you again next year! In fact, planning for the 2022 Festival is already underway so stay tuned…

Chemung Lake District Lions Club supporting pediatric cancer care with a takeaway dinner

Thank you to the wonderful volunteers at the Chemung Lake District Lions Club who are hosting a curbside pick-up fundraising dinner, Saturday, July 10, in support of pediatric cancer care at Peterborough Regional Health Centre. 

Dinner is $12 per person and includes ham, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, cornbread muffins and cinnamon knots in a microwave-safe container.

Call to reserve: 705-657-2671

Pickup 3:00-5:00pm July 10: Lions Park, Ward St., Bridgenorth

Reimagined 2021 Peterborough’s Dragon Boat Festival celebrates 20 years of fun and fundraising!

On Saturday June 12, 2021 Peterborough’s Dragon Boat Festival officially celebrated its 20th anniversary.

We’re so grateful for this beloved event! Over 20 years it has raised more than $3.6 million to help ensure world-class breast and other cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment are available to patients from across our region. Proceeds from the points-based 2021 Festival that promoted friendly competition for all ages through fun activities and fundraising will help fund a new, state-of-the-art diagnostic ultrasound for PRHC’s Breast Assessment Centre.

The primary use of the ultrasound is to help diagnose breast abnormalities such as a lump and to characterize potential abnormalities seen on mammography. The new ultrasound technology comes with many advancements that will improve image quality, increase its accuracy and make the patient experience more comfortable.

To date, the virtual Festival has raised $48,591.10!

On behalf of everyone at PRHC, especially patients and their families, thank you to the organizing committee, Survivors Abreast and all of the passionate sponsors, volunteers, participants and donors who make the Festival a success every year!

Your support of Peterborough’s Dragon Boat Festival will help to ensure that breast cancer patients have access to the latest, customized treatments, leading-edge technology and world-class care at your regional hospital. 

Learn more about the Festival and how you can still donate here!

PRHC is bringing cutting-edge new CT scanners to our region with your help

A Medical Radiation Technologist and volunteer demonstrate a CT scanner
A radiologist stands in front of a CT scanner

Dr. Mario Voros is a PRHC Radiologist who’s leading the charge to bring two new, state-of-the-art CT scanners to the hospital. We asked him to tell us about this cutting-edge equipment and how it will improve care for thousands of patients in our region…

What is CT scan technology?

A CT – or computed tomography – scan is a more powerful, dynamic, moving X-Ray. Unlike a traditional 2-dimensional X-Ray, CT scanners create hundreds of incredibly detailed cross-sectional images and 3-dimensional images of a patient’s anatomy. They’re unique because they can display a combination of soft tissue, bones and blood vessels in a single image.

Why are CT scans an important diagnostic tool?

Radiologists call CT the workhorse – or backbone – of the hospital. At PRHC, about 28,000 CT scans are performed each year because they’re crucial to rapidly confirming a diagnosis and beginning lifesaving treatment for many seriously sick or injured patients. We perform a CT scan for patients with head injuries to rule out a brain bleed. We use CT for rapid stroke assessment and to identify blockages or damage in arteries. We image for common issues like kidney stones and appendicitis. We use CT in cancer care. CT helps doctors diagnose fractures and issues related to trauma. A chest CT can even identify some consequences of COVID-19, like pneumonia.

Why does PRHC need new CT equipment?

PRHC’s current CT scanners are more than 12 years old and nearing the end of their lifespan. They must be replaced with new equipment. This is an opportunity to make significant advancements in our critical CT services because the technology has come a long way in a decade. We need the most advanced imaging technology available, so that every doctor at PRHC can do our jobs to the best of our ability.

How will the new CT scanners benefit patients?

The new CT scanners will fit the needs of the hospital now and well into the future. They’re the best available scanners on the market. They’re faster, meaning shorter scan times. This is better for all patients, but especially those in pain or distress. They’ll provide much better-quality images, making it easier for my colleagues and me to see what’s happening inside a patient’s body. And there’s less radiation used during a scan, which means less risk to the patient.

How will donors help make this equipment advancement possible?

The government doesn’t fund most of the technology doctors, nurses and staff use to provide patient care every day. So, we rely on donors to help us invest in equipment that is vital to the world-class care we provide to patients from across our region. It’s donors who make that care possible by giving to the PRHC Foundation to help fund cutting-edge tools, like essential new CT scanners. And at PRHC, we’re all very grateful for that support.

For more information or to support this exciting investment, please click here or call 705-876-5000.

Patient says “thank you” for cancer care close to home

Doctor on stool and patient on bed smiling

At age 41, Melissa Hinze was a typically busy working mom, running a home business. But in October 2016, she visited PRHC’s Breast Assessment Centre with a suspicious lump. Scans revealed cancer in both breasts. She had biopsies and received an emergency diagnosis on the spot.

Melissa’s instinct was to fight. “What do we do next?” she asked. She met a patient navigator, received a referral for surgery, and shortly thereafter, had a double mastectomy. Since then, with her focus on living with cancer under the care of Dr. Neera Jeyabalan, Melissa has had hormone treatments, chemotherapy, further surgeries and hospital stays.

“PRHC is second to none,” she says about the donor-funded equipment and technology she’s so thankful for. She can’t imagine having to travel and stay elsewhere for treatment. Instead, all her care happens close to home.

Receiving care locally has been essential to Melissa’s ability to stay motivated. It’s allowed her to see life a little differently and notice what she calls “the silver linings” that come from having world-class cancer care close to home, thanks to donor generosity.

“Coming in here [to PRHC] and having great care is number one,” Melissa says, and for that she’s extremely grateful. “Because of this community, I have great care and the smartest, compassionate doctor. Even during COVID-19, I always feel safe coming to PRHC.” This allows her and her husband to focus on her care and healthy living at home, where she’s spending a lot more quality time with her kids.