Donor-funded, cutting-edge MRIs are a leap forward for patient care at PRHC

Every year since her breast cancer diagnosis almost ten years ago, Amy Semple attends a mammogram and MRI appointment at PRHC to monitor her health. This past year, her check-up was different for one big reason: Amy underwent an MRI in one of PRHC’s two new, state-of-the-art MRI machines.

Before her appointment, Amy learned about the benefits of the advanced technology, which produces detailed images of organs and structures in the body. The new equipment takes higher resolution images, faster, in a more comfortable experience for patients like her – representing a giant leap forward in patient care at PRHC.

“I’ve always appreciated the level of care I’ve received at PRHC and the big scope of donor-funded equipment needed to support my and other patients’ survival,” said Amy. “But seeing firsthand the new technology at this year’s appointment really highlighted the impact that donors have made in my life over the last decade. Thank you!”

The more recent installation of the second MRI unit, funded by a $2 million legacy gift, has allowed the hospital to increase diagnostic imaging capacity, performing an additional 6,000 scans since the new machine became operational.

PRHC Physician Chief & Medical Director of Diagnostic Imaging, Dr. Rola Shaheen, elaborated, “It’s having a positive impact on regional wait times. It’s increasing our overall efficiency and empowering us to offer a level of care not previously possible, including MRI-guided breast biopsy procedures, and better, clearer neurological, prostate and cardiovascular imaging.”

“We’re able to produce much higher quality images in less time,” she added, “while providing a significantly improved patient experience. With the support of donors, we can deliver the full spectrum of service needed to diagnose and treat disease, close to home.”

The estate gift that made this possible was from Dr. Anne Keenleyside, a highly respected Trent University professor of bioarcheology who passed away in October 2022 after succumbing to cancer.

PRHC Foundation President & CEO, Lesley Heighway, said Anne was inspired to invest in equipment and technology that support cancer care innovation: “Anne wanted her gift to connect her passion for scientific innovation with her desire to help the patients who would come after her. We’re so grateful for her incredible generosity.”

For more information on legacy giving or to donate, please call 705-876-5000.

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.

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.

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.

“I will be eternally grateful to this community, for everything it has given to me and my family.”

PRHC Foundation Legacy Society member Ivo Nightingale explains how his bequest is a way of giving back for generations to come:

“I will be eternally grateful to this community, for everything it has given to me and my family. In fact, my life was saved at PRHC. That’s why I’m so set on giving back to the people of Peterborough, not just today, but for generations to come, through a gift in my Will to PRHC Foundation.

When it came time for estate planning and our financial advisor told my wife and me that we could reduce our estate taxes with a bequest, it made perfect sense to make a gift in our Will to the Foundation. We’ve made some provisions for our children and grandchildren, but we also think it’s important to do our part to leave them a strong regional hospital. We feel great knowing that our bequest will not only benefit our family, but also our neighbours and friends, along with the rest of our community.

I’m hoping that when you reflect on your own legacy and values, that you’ll seriously consider making a gift in your Will to the PRHC Foundation. Without affecting your lifestyle at all right now, you could have a huge impact on the lives of people in our community far into the future.”

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.

Giving back is a family tradition for this long-time Peterborough citizen

Retired banker Walter Howell says his father gave him some advice about giving back to the community that became words to live by. “Dad always said to try to give something back to the community. Take care of yourself, look after your family, but also try to do something for the community,” he says.

Like his parents before him, Walter was born and raised in Peterborough. The Howell name has a long history in Peterborough: his father, Walter Howell Sr., was a well-known lawyer and member of the community.

Over the course of his 37-year career with the bank, Walter Jr. has lived in many places, choosing to come home to Peterborough in the mid-‘90s, and retiring here a decade later. Being involved in the community has always been important to Walter, and he has given both time and financial donations to the causes that mean the most to him.

“There are many things that we need to support in a community,” says Walter. “The hospital is something that we’re all going to use at some point in our life.” As he sees it, the Peterborough Regional Health Centre is one of the pillars of our community because it plays such a key role for everyone, which is why supporting the hospital is a natural choice for him.

Walter also wants to help make sure that great care will always be available in the community for future generations. With career experience in banking and estate planning, he knew there was a way he could provide support for the future—through a gift in his Will to the PRHC Foundation.

As a professional, he has long been aware of what’s involved in making a gift through one’s Will. But he emphasizes that it’s easy for anyone to do. “A call to your financial advisor or lawyer is all you need to get things underway,” Walter says.

He adds that it’s something anyone can consider doing. “We often hear about the very large amounts that are donated to charity, but legacy gifts of all sizes make a real difference to our community,” he says.

“It’s not how much you give—it’s the fact that you do give.”

Walter advises that it’s important to regularly review your Will to make sure that it’s up-to-date, since families change and circumstances change.

This regular update also provides a convenient opportunity to include a charitable bequest.

As a father and grandfather, Walter knows that looking after family always comes first; but he also knows that he can look after his family and give something back to the community at the same time.

For Walter, helping to make sure Peterborough has a hospital that can maintain its high standard of care in the years to come is a way to look after his family, friends and neighbours.

“I want to know that in 20 or 30 years when the hospital gets my legacy gift, excellent care will be available for the citizens that are here at that time. Possibly even my own children and grandchildren.”

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.