Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of participating in a very special day at our hospital as we held our second Scarborough World Gala. This year’s Gala raised nearly $2 million in support of our Cancer Care program, which will help us achieve our vision of a fully-integrated, state-of-the-art program that will enhance the already excellent care provided at TSH. I would like to take a moment to recognize the many individuals who contributed to the success of this outstanding event.
Our keynote speaker for the evening was the Duchess of York, Lady Sarah Ferguson. Cancer has long been one of her most important charitable causes, and her support of our event clearly demonstrated this commitment. Not only did she make herself fully available for the evening from start to finish, but she spent several hours at the General campus the morning of the event touring our Emergency Department, Palliative Care Unit, and the Family Maternity Centre. The Duchess was very engaging and she took the time to connect with our front line staff, physicians, patients and their family members. I know she was impressed by our highly skilled health care team and our commitment to provide compassionate care to our diverse, global community.
In addition to having British royalty at our Gala, we were also honoured with Canadian rock royalty as renowned musician Lawrence Gowan treated guests at the Gala to a number of songs. Lawrence’s wife Janice received chemotherapy treatment at TSH in 2012 following breast cancer surgery; and in a heartfelt and poignant speech, she shared her remarkable journey as she beat cancer for the second time. We are extremely grateful for all that they have given back to our hospital in appreciation for the excellent care Janice received.
The highlight of the evening was the Lifetime Achievement Award presentation to our Chief of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Director of Laboratories, Dr. Dhun Noria. This recognition is most deserving – Dr. Noria has served TSH for more than three decades, and she helped build one of the hospital campuses (the former Scarborough Grace Hospital), developed its lab from the ground up and assisted in the merger of the Grace and the Scarborough General Hospital. Dr. Noria’s contributions to TSH and our community include all this and much more.
Dr Noria’s life journey shifted from being a physician helping to diagnose cancer to being a cancer patient herself. As a two-time breast cancer survivor, she is all too familiar with the struggles that cancer patients go through and the importance of having high quality cancer care close to home. Dr. Noria embodies the values of our hospital and is an inspiration to all of us as health care professionals, community members, neighbours and friends. It was a privilege to be able to honour her with such a prestigious award.
This year’s Scarborough World Gala was a true reminder of the exceptional health care services that TSH delivers, not only in our Cancer Care program, but in all areas of the hospital. Please join me in congratulating The Scarborough Hospital Foundation staff, Board and many volunteers on the success of this year’s Gala. It was a night that not only resulted in a tremendous amount of support for our hospital, but also highlighted what makes TSH such an essential and unique health care organization for our patients and community.