Brenda Thorne is a loving mother, wife, and grandmother. In 2015, Brenda almost lost her life to multiple organ failure. Thanks to the incredible doctors and staff at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) she survived and is back where she belongs – with her family.
For years Brenda had experienced significant fatigue, but she attributed it to her busy lifestyle – teaching, being an organist, as well as the demands that come with motherhood. In 2012, Brenda had developed digestive issues, and with her continued fatigue Brenda decided to seek medical advice. Through testing in…
In October of 2017, Cristian Castro was diagnosed with a type of blood cancer called Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. This particular cancer begins in the white blood cells of the lymphatic system and can spread anywhere in the body.
Cristian’s diagnosis came with an 80% chance of survival.
At the time of his diagnosis, Cristian was only 29 years old with a full life ahead of him. Because he was young and lead a healthy, active lifestyle, this life-changing news came as a shock to both him and his family. Although devastated and afraid of the diagnosis, Cristian’s family…
Every year, one in seven men are diagnosed with prostate cancer. It is among the most commonly diagnosed cancers for Canadian men and the third deadliest. Yet still, many will put their prostate exam on the back burner because of associated stigmas.
Fortunately, this was not the case for John Oliveira, whose diligence in asking for the Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test well before the recommended age saved his life.
A hardworking family man from Wallaceburg, John knew that in order to live a long and healthy life, he needed to take control of his health – even though…
Behind her smiling, bright-eyed, cheerful face is a disease that has deeply affected Carol Regts and her family – ovarian cancer. However with faith, a positive mindset and determination to live her best life, Carol is using her diagnosis as an opportunity to spread the message about early detection and help raise money for research.
In the summer of 2016, Carol began feeling “yucky” all the time. She was lethargic and had no motivation, even to do the things she once loved like volunteering and crafting. She was constantly bloated to the point where…
The saying ‘you don’t know what you have until it’s gone’ could not be more true for Gord Williamson.
After doctors in Sarnia discovered he had throat cancer, Gord underwent 65 bouts of radiation and more than seven surgeries to save his life. Unfortunately, it left him without a voice. Today, thanks to the Head and Neck Cancer team at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), Gord is talking with the help of a voice prosthesis – and he’s got much more to say.
As a young adult, Gord moved from his hometown of Brampton to Sarnia to pursue post-secondary education. After meeting…
Jeff and Heather Turnbull
Prostate cancer is in all-too-common disease, with one in seven men diagnosed in their lifetime. Heather Turnbull was aware of these frightening statistics and convinced her husband to get checked out… just in time. She tells her story:
I can’t tell you enough how important it is to have regular checkups with your doctor. It was a year ago that my husband Jeff went in for surgery for prostate cancer. Make sure your husband, partner, brother,…
Martie Grof-Iannelli is a loving mother, wife and happily retired Librarian and University Instructor. For twenty-three years, she taught in the Master’s program of Library and Information Science at Western, and later became the Senior Manager of Library and Media Services at Fanshawe.
Martie enjoys editing written works in her spare time and has always dreamed of writing her own novel. Eight years ago, cancer was the furthest thing from her mind; little did she know her life would be uprooted with an unexpected cancer diagnosis. Years later, Martie longs to give back by…
Emma Holden is a spirited 21-year-old with a big heart. She loves being close to her family, her pets and her friends. So when a friend of Emma’s passed away from suicide four years ago, it was a devastating loss for her. This tragic event opened up many questions for Emma and lead her to learn more about her own struggles with mental health.
Emma struggles with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and is very open about her diagnosis. Her hope is to educate others and reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness.
“I am definitely a huge advocate for mental…
Scott Gagnon (left) has had a passion for sports for as long as he can remember. In high school he dedicated his time to a long list of competitive sports, playing hockey, soccer and volleyball almost every day of the week.
It was during high school that Scott, now 26, noticed a growing pain in both of his knees while he was playing sports. Eventually, the pain became so unbearable that he sought help from the professionals at Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic (FKSMC). He began working with Dr. Lisa Fischer, who discovered that he was suffering from Patellofemoral pain…
Vanya Lang undergoes a routine heart procedure, but complications occur when her heart begins to bleed. She codes multiple times – going into cardiopulmonary arrest – and needs to be moved to the operating room (OR). Her team wheels her gurney through the hospital, but she is crashing and there’s no time to make it to the OR.
Her surgeon begins operating on her in the elevator while manually pumping her heart with his hand to keep her alive. As she slips into a coma, her family is called to prepare for the worst… this may be the last time they see her.
David and Marilyn Conklin
Sepsis and blood clots are two very different, but very real threats to a person’s health, but now, thanks to a generous donation from David and Marilyn Conklin, new research and treatments are on the horizon for both of these conditions.
David and Marilyn were each faced with a health crisis that required life-saving treatments at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC).
After their recovery, the couple wanted to thank and acknowledge the hard work of the doctors who saved their lives; Dr. Michael Kovacs and Dr. Tina Mele. To show their appreciation, they decided to make…
In 2004, 21-year-old Rashad experienced the scare of a lifetime while driving home to London, from Windsor Ontario. Seemingly out of nowhere, he had experienced his first-ever seizure, and lost control of the wheel while he fell unconscious. Thankfully, his friends in the passenger’s seats were able to stop the car safely without anyone else getting injured. To this day, Rashad has no memory of what happened.
After the terrifying incident, Rashad was referred to London Health Sciences Centre and was later diagnosed with epilepsy. This seemed strange to Rashad since he had never had…
From as young as four years old, Kirstie Leedham, who grew up in Chatham, remembers climbing into the little storage unit underneath her oldest brother’s bed when she was feeling scared or anxious – the cozy nook would bring a sense of comfort and peace.
More than 20 years later, this pastime would answer many significant questions for Kirstie, who would undergo a long and difficult mental health journey before getting to that point.
It began with not being able to get out of bed. She slept all day and all night and missed two months of grade seven. Then, she was…
CTV's Reta Ismail shares her story with London Health Sciences Foundation:
I remember the moment my son Nero was born like it was yesterday. For the first time in my life, I felt my heart beating on the outside. It was truly the best moment of my life being able to hold him in my arms and kissing his little forehead for the very first time.
He will be turning five this coming August and it feels as if time has flown by. I am now pregnant with baby number two. But this is not my second pregnancy. Like many women, I have suffered from pregnancy loss, twice in…
Tony de Boer
Can you imagine travelling out of town for a full hip replacement in the morning and still being home in time for dinner? Tony de Boer experienced this twice – the right hip one year and the left one the next. He shares his story below:
For me, life is always in motion. Whether it’s riding my snowmobile, travelling with my wife Marian, or running the family business – a physically demanding job in an industrial knitting factory in Exeter – I’m constantly on the go. So when I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my early forties, I was devastated.
In the past seven years, Lenore Rawlings has been through one life-threatening health scare after the other.
In 2011, she and her husband George pulled over near their home in McGregor, Ontario, when a pickup truck that veered off the road struck them. Lenore suffered a blood clot in her lung, which left her in a coma and clinging to life in intensive care.
Coming close to death several times, doctors in Windsor performed six tracheotomies to open her airway. Lenore tenaciously pulled through each trauma, spending four months in the hospital before…
The newest member of the Mental Health Campaign Cabinet at London Health Sciences Foundation (LHSF) is a business owner, philanthropist, hockey player and grateful patient – all at only 25-years-old.
Just four years ago, Tyler was in a much darker place in his life. After a suicide attempt almost took his life, he reached out from the crushing depression that enveloped him.
“I need help,” he admitted to his family. His mother drove him to Victoria Hospital.
Years earlier, Tyler’s journey with depression began when he was a child. His home life was…
Steve is a 41-year-old Londoner, Western graduate and avid hockey fan. He explains how his favorite team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, has improved over the last few years.
“They’ve been doing well. The old saying goes – if you’ve hit rock bottom, the only way to go is up – and that’s with anything in life.”
Six years ago, Steve experienced rock bottom. His mental health began to deteriorate, and he attempted to take his own life. After a long recovery in hospital, he was referred to London Health Sciences Centre’s PEPP Program (Prevention & Early Intervention…
When Andrew moved to London from Mississauga to care for his 67-year-old aunt who has Alzheimer’s disease, he found himself in an unpredictable and sometimes chaotic environment. He faced daily responsibilities of housework, cooking and grocery shopping in addition to being on high alert in the event she compromised her own safety, like leaving the stove on. Eventually, Andrew felt overwhelmed and exhausted with no time to pursue a life outside of caring for his aunt.
“There’s a huge strain on me. There’s so many things I desire to do like have a…
Sabrina Pont is a doting mother of two, a housekeeper at the Hampton Inn in London and enjoys spending time with her loving boyfriend and children. She is often a pillar of support for her friends and family, who describe her as “a big sweetheart with a huge heart.”
Three years ago, it was those same friends and family who served as Sabrina’s own pillar of support when she began experiencing frightening mental health symptoms.
When her son Dreyden was four years old, Sabrina started hearing voices. Over time, the voices got louder and more prominent. She couldn’t…
About eight years ago, he began experiencing knee pain. The pain eventually got so severe that he had to give up the active lifestyle he loved.
Ben’s physiotherapist suggested he visit Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic (FKSMC).
“I had never heard of the place, but…
In December 2005, just before the holiday season, Karolanne Bolton was delivered four life-changing words, “you have breast cancer.” However, after 30 years of working in finance at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) and after decades as a volunteer raising money for the hospital – she knew she was in the best hands.
This could not have been clearer than on the day she had a mastectomy.
As she arrived ready for surgery at London Regional Cancer Program inside LHSC, Karolanne was greeted by familiar faces lined up on each side of the hallway. These faces weren’t just those…
After surviving cancer, Connie Kuc thought the worst of her health concerns were behind her. But an all-too-common disorder crept its way into her life, eventually affecting almost every moment in her day.
It began as bladder pressure and pain, which became more intense over time. Soon the sensation was too much, leading to incontinence.
“One day, my husband and I were driving down a rural road on the way to pick up a new puppy,” Connie said. “The pressure hit me all of a sudden and I desperately needed to pull over, but we were surrounded by open farm land with…
When crisis strikes, even the most strong-willed and independent must entrust their lives to the hands of others. Such was the case for Tory Struyf, a hardworking mother from Lambton Shores, Ontario.
Pregnant for the third time, Tory thought she knew what to expect when it came to childbirth. Life was business-as-usual as she worked triple duty as a full-time Agricultural Account Manager off-farm, supported the family poultry and crop farm, and cared for her two toddlers.
When she was 31 weeks pregnant, an ultrasound revealed the first sign of complications: a complete…
Can you imagine if your heart stopped for 87 minutes? This was the reality for Martha McDougall of London, who survived this incredible ordeal at 30 years old with the help of London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC).
In late January 2013, Martha – a first-time mother who was 37 weeks pregnant – started experiencing flu-like symptoms and dizzy spells. One night while walking into her kitchen, she blacked out. Her husband Marc immediately called 911 and Martha was rushed to LHSC.
At LHSC’s Victoria Hospital, doctors discovered that Martha had a blood clot in her groin…