Archives: Stories

Karen’s Story

Because of support from community members like you, watch how Trillium Health Partners was there to give Karen the life-saving care she needed.

 

To ensure patients like Karen get the life-saving care they need, please donate this holiday season up to December 31, 2020 to receive a tax receipt for this tax year.

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Shari’s Story

While Shari was born at Credit Valley Hospital, she never imagined that one day she would return to the same hospital to be saved from a life threatening disease.

It all began in August of last year. Shari noticed an unusual lump on the right side of her neck and began to experience extreme fatigue. She visited her doctor and was sent for a biopsy. When the results came back, she was in shock.

“I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” says Shari. “The news was pretty scary, but fortunately the cancer was caught early and I didn’t need radiation.”

Shari needed multiple rounds of chemotherapy – and support from the compassionate team at Trillium Health Partners. “On my first day, I was so afraid,” she recalls. “But the first nurse I met at Queensway Health Centre was so caring. She stayed with me for the entire seven hours of chemotherapy. She made sure I was comfortable and I will always remember her kindness.”

Shari also became aware of the chemotherapy bell, which patients rang once they completed their treatments. It became her goal to ring that bell and, on tough days, provided her with additional motivation. Halfway during Shari’s chemotherapy, the COVID-19 crisis struck and she was no longer able to bring family along to her chemotherapy treatments. And all treatments switched to Credit Valley Hospital due to Trillium Health Partners’ response to the pandemic. “The care I received continued to be outstanding,” she says. “Everything I needed was provided to me every step of the way.”

After Shari completed her chemotherapy, all the nurses that had impacted her cancer experience and who had become like her family gathered to cheer as she rang the bell that marked the end of her treatment. Four weeks later, Shari’s doctor called with the good news. Her cancer was in remission!

Today, Shari is stronger and grateful for your support. “Cancer touches every single person’s life in some way,” she says. “Your generosity can impact a life today, next week, or even 30 years later. Thank you for supporting Trillium Health Partners – and helping me through my cancer journey.”

To ensure patients like Shari get the life-saving care they need, please donate!

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Mubarak’s Story

If you met Mubarak you’d never forget him. He was a hardworking man who was dedicated to serving his family and community.

As a grocery store owner in Toronto’s Little India, he was always ready to help everyone — especially those new to Canada. He made sure that struggling families had food on their tables even if they couldn’t pay.

That was the kind of man and father he was.

In February, this year, Mubarak traveled to the United Kingdom for the funeral of his eldest sister. He had little reason to fear for his health—until he came down with a fever and started to feel tired a week after his return. As a precaution, he was tested for COVID-19. A few days later, the swab results came back. Mubarak had the COVID-19 virus and his condition soon began to deteriorate…rapidly.

His daughter and son-in-law were terrified. They’re both doctors on the frontline of the pandemic at Trillium Health Partners, and knew how deadly this virus could be.

With his life in danger, it was important for the entire family that their father receive the best health care possible. For them, there was only one place to go: Trillium Health Partners.

They quickly took Mubarak to the emergency department at Trillium Health Partners. It was a great relief knowing he was in good hands and in a safe environment. Every step of the way, they knew the dedicated and compassionate team at the hospital would be there for him.

“During this time of great emotional strain, we can’t tell you how grateful we were for the extraordinary care he received—care that critical donors like you made possible.”

Please give your vital support of Trillium Health Partners. Your generous gift can ensure you and your loved ones continue to have access to exceptional health care when it’s needed most.

Thanks to an anonymous donor, your gift today will be multiplied SIX TIMES until October 23, 2020 to address the highest priority needs of the hospital.

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Rachel’s Story: Now equipped to be a survivor

When Rachel Braga was told she had cancer at the age of 35, with a daughter only eight, and twin five-year-old boys, she was shocked. Treated successfully, she then began to experience panic attacks. At Trillium Health Partners (THP), she was referred to the coping clinic at the Carlo Fidani Regional Cancer Centre. For Rachel it was huge and, out of gratitude for the help she received, she and her daughter sold scrunchies to raise funds for the clinic.
Brash, funny and outspoken, Rachel is a health and wellness coach with a large social media following. She committed to living healthier several years ago, losing weight she had put on after the birth of her twins. When she began to feel poorly again, she knew something was wrong, which led to the diagnosis.
Although her cancer had been removed, she was haunted by the fear of leaving her children without a mother. These powerful emotions were diminished by those who discounted the seriousness of her cancer. It made her feel like an imposter.
“I was ready for the physical battle, but not for the mental toll it would take on me,” Rachel says. The panic attacks were random, some so severe she wanted to call 911. Rachel shared her mental health struggles with her THP oncologist, who connected her to a social worker. “I owe the social worker so much. She got me to open up about things I didn’t know I was struggling with.”
The social worker suggested the coping clinic, which offers group cognitive behavioral therapy over a three month period. Although she almost didn’t go, she’s so glad she did. She was surprised that she wasn’t the youngest, with participants from their 20s up into their 70s. “It was a safe space where we could talk about all these weird feelings we were having about cancer. They became like family. We still talk every day.”
As Christmas approached, Rachel and her daughter decided to make scrunchies to raise funds to support the coping clinic. They bought fabric in a variety of colours and went to work over the next month, making 550 scrunchies. Rachel talked up the project on social media, and they sold out within two hours and raised $860, with many buyers paying more than the asking price.
Rachel comments, “It was a way to thank the team, to let them know that they make an impact on our physical health, on our hearts, on our mental health. Now I’m equipped to be a survivor. Thank you!
Raising funds in support of Trillium Health Partners can be personalized— whether you’re an individual creating a virtual event or a business coming together to raise funds. Together we can ensure everyone in our community is as healthy as can be, inside the hospital and beyond our walls. We invite you to help us build a new kind of health care for a healthier community!

 

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Kelly’s Story: Happy to help others

50/50 Winner KellyLike so many people right now, COVID-19 has taken a big bite out of the lives of Kelly and Monte Nemeth. But when Kelly got a call from the Trillium Health Partners (THP) Foundation on March 27, it added to the pattern of good fortune that has helped shape their lives. It took some time to accept that the call was real, and that she and her husband has just won over $40,000 as the winners of the inaugural THP Foundation 50/50 Raffle.

Trillium Health Partners (THP) is Ontario’s largest community academic hospital, serving the 2.2 million people of Mississauga, Peel Region and West Toronto, and is now fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds from the raffle will help meet the hospital’s most urgent needs, which right now include items like personal protective equipment for frontline staff.

For Kelly and Monte, March 27 has great significance: 26 years ago on the very same date, they survived the deadliest US tornado of 1994. The winds rolled their 18-wheel truck five times and half a mile down the Alabama highway, leaving them bruised and dazed while many others were less fortunate.

Monte has since moved into heavy construction while Kelly now looks after her 92-year-old father and works as needed for an Oakville ski shop. But with COVID-19, they are both out of work and conscientiously isolating to protect her dad, who lives with them. One of the original firemen in Oakville in the 1940s, her father needs ongoing care after a stroke and the onset of Parkinson’s. And the couple can only connect with their three daughters and six grandchildren remotely for now.

Kelly has always felt the need to give back, to say thanks for the blessings in her life. She has always had a soft spot for hospitals, and supports a number of them by buying their lottery tickets. Friends shared news of the THP Foundation 50/50 Raffle and she was happy to support the hospital, which cared for a grandson with a kidney issue a few years ago.

Now Trillium Health Partners Foundation was on the phone explaining that the call was legitimate, and that the Foundation would courier the cheque immediately. Kelly’s skepticism gave way to tears.

What are they going to do with their portion of the funds? Being out of work there are bills to pay, and they would like to give money to their daughters. Kelly also wants to stay overnight in Niagara Falls with Monte, to take a short break from caregiving, but that will have to wait till things return to normal.

Kelly also has a message for the Trillium Health Partners staff during COVID-19, knowing the 50/50 funds will help them. “I can only imagine how hard it is for you, with your own families to worry about. We would be in so much trouble without your efforts, so bless you all.”

The THP Foundation continues to ask for support to meet the most pressing needs of the hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Kevin’s Story

Kevin was just weeks away from his wedding when he suddenly developed a pain in his chest. When he arrived at the Emergency Department, his heart stopped and he collapsed to the floor.

Because of support from community members like you, watch how Trillium Health Partners was there to give Kevin the life-saving care he needed to marry the love of his life!

To ensure patients like Kevin get the life-saving care they need, please donate today!

DONATE TODAY