Cristian

Cristian Castro

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…

John Oliveira and his wife

John Oliveira

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…

Carol Regts at Run for Ovarian Cancer

Carol Regts

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…

gord and his wife on the beach

Gord Williamson

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…

Darlene Reparon

Bikers for Boobs

It’s a brisk early fall day in South London when the sound of distant highway traffic is punctuated by the telltale engine growl of a pack of Harleys. A group of leather-clad bikers is arriving back to Rocky’s Harley Davidson from a charity ride that took them across the region in support of financial assistance for breast cancer patients. The event is aptly titled Bikers for Boobs.

“We wanted to catch the guys’ attention with this event – there are a lot of male bikers,” says Darlene Reparon, the Ladies of Harley Officer for the Forest City HOG (Harley Owners Group) chapter. “…

Kendra Klages

Kendra Klages

Growing up, 18-year-old Kendra Klages from small-town Tara, Ontario, has always been told she’s just like her Uncle Duane. Smart, witty and kind-hearted, Kendra takes this as a big compliment, especially knowing she will never meet her uncle.

In 1990, before Kendra was born, Duane Steinacker passed away at the age of 20 from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma – a cancer that originates in the lymphatic system and affects the disease-fighting network throughout the body.

Kendra’s mother Krista was just 15 years old at the time her brother passed. According to Kendra, her mother…

Turnbull Family

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,…

Ashton Lefteris

Ashton Lefteris has an ambitious goal to raise money for cancer care.

“I want to raise $10,000 and then I want to raise $100,000 and then a million dollars,” Ashton says. “It’s as much as I possibly can.” 

Ashton recently started the fundraiser Coins for Cancer after his mom Jennifer was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago while nursing her youngest son. Jennifer began treatment at London Health Sciences Centre’s (LHSC) London Regional Cancer Program under the care of Dr. Kylea Potvin and Dr. Muriel Brackstone.

“They both have been the most fabulous…

Peter and Trudy Channer

Peter and Trudy Channer

Ovarian cancer is one of the most lethal cancers for women. Symptoms are vague and the lack of reliable early detection is why it’s known as “the silent killer.”

Peter and Trudy Channer know this all too well. 

Nearly 20 years ago, Peter’s sister Mary passed away from the disease at the age of 37, leaving behind two young daughters. Two years later his brother’s daughter Sara, 20, lost her battle with ovarian cancer as well. 

“Mary was his only sister which is tragic in itself, but then to lose your niece to the same disease, it’s something…

martie and her husband hold hands

Martie's Story

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 with her horse

Emma Holden

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 with friend and hockey sticks

Scott Gagnon

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…

Shoppers Drug Mart Supports Continence Care

Shoppers Drug Mart's visionary investment in women's health helped fund the development of a comprehensive continence care program at LHSC. The Continence Clinic was established in November 2016 and has been helping hundreds of women across the region since it opened. 

"It's important that we support health care in London and our surrounding region because we, as pharmacists, are at the forefront of care. It's important that we work together as a system to help people – specifically women – in our communities who may be putting the health of…

Vanya Lang

Vanya Lang

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. 

Mercifully,…

Kim Petrie

Kim Petrie

The average age of someone diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease – an incurable neurodegenerative disease that is most commonly characterized by involuntary movements – is mid-to-late 60s.  

So when Kim Petrie of Hamilton was diagnosed at 45, she was in shock. As a busy, fitness-minded mother of three, she was faced with the sudden reality of how this diagnosis would affect her life. However, she wasn’t going to deal with it quietly. Despite the new health challenges she faced, Kim used her Parkinson’s news as a jumping off point to help others, by serving as an empathetic listener…

dave and jill smiling on their wedding day -each holding a glass of champagne

Jill & Dave's Story

Partners in Love

Trudell Medical and Medtronic Canada are global leading-edge health care technology and equipment companies. With over 30 years of sponsorship at Country Classic Auction (CCA) and TASTINGS, both companies have made an impact in many ways; just a few short years ago, these partners sparked a new chapter for two fellow CCA attendees.

Dave and Jill fell in love while working at Trudell. It was the perfect fit because of their shared passion for work, community and giving back. “We’ve both worked in the medical device industry for quite some time,” Jill said. “We…

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…

Rashad wearing a cranial halo

Rashad Qutob

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…

Fran and Dave Postowoj

Fran's Legacy

July fourth is a memorable day for many. For Dave Postowoj, it was the start of a new life with his beautiful bride Fran.

“I loved her so much,” Dave says. “I just wanted to be with her.”

They were married in 1992 and spent a wonderful honeymoon cruising various islands in the Caribbean. 

It was a happy time for the newlyweds despite the fact that Fran had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) prior to their wedding. Dave shared: “She exhibited some symptoms, but it was not obviously visible that she had MS.” 

A diagnosis was confirmed by an…

London Telecom Pioneer Club

Gifts from the heart

When patient Cindy Waddick was recovering from a complex heart surgery performed by Dr. Michael Chu just before Christmas of 2016, her care team gave her a special red pillow to hold to her chest to relieve some of her discomfort.

She was touched by the gesture, and that pillow would go on to hold a meaningful place in her heart long after she recovered.

While she was still in the hospital after her life-saving heart surgery, Cindy’s partner Zoran proposed to her. Her care team was there to witness the memorable moment, so she updated Dr. Chu and the team a year later.…

Kirstie Leedham

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…

Dr. Tracey Crumley

Meet Dr. Tracey Crumley

Award-Winning Champion for Women’s Health

Dr. Tracey Crumley has delivered close to 10,000 babies in her more than 20 years as an obstetrician/gynecologist (OB-GYN), has won a “Best Curriculum on Earth” award for her excellence in teaching and has now stepped into the role as Interim Chair/Chief in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Learn more about Dr. Crumley ─ an advocate for women’s health and expert care provider. 

What fuels your passion for women’s care?
I love delivering babies and helping mothers as they journey through their pregnancy. It’s a beautiful…

Jimmy and Margueritte George

The Family of Jimmy George

When Jimmy George of Leamington was 69 years old, he became very ill. He had contracted hepatitis B – a viral infection that attacks the liver – which led to severe complications requiring an immediate transplant. He needed a new liver, yet even if one was found for him, there was no guarantee his body would accept it as his immune system had become very weak. 

In early 2007, just a few months after putting his name on the transplant list, Jimmy’s transplant pager started beeping. A liver from a non-beating heart donor was available. Jimmy and his family decided to go through with…

Reta Ismail and her son Nero

Reta Ismail

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…

Logan Couture

Pro Athletes Support Local Concussion Research

“I remember blacking out for days and even weeks after one of my concussions,” says Dylan DeMelo, defenseman for the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League (NHL). “It changes how you feel about yourself and how you view things – it is very scary and very real.”

The Londoner was back in town for the summer with his teammate Logan Couture, a longtime forward for the Sharks since his impressive rookie start in 2009. London Health Sciences Foundation caught up with both Sharks as they were suiting up in tuxedos for Couture’s