Melissa Selmes was a 31-year-old new mother when she was diagnosed with stage III ovarian cancer. Originally given just one year to live, Melissa and her medical team at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) have fought to get her to where she is now – cancer free.
Melissa’s story began in 2010 when she was pregnant with her daughter. As her daughter grew inside of her, so did an ovarian cyst. When the time came for Melissa to have her C-section, the cyst had grown to an 18-lb tumour. Her doctors removed the tumour, along with her right ovary. The tumour was tested, and…
Neil Tull's Story
Sometimes an illness will reveal itself in dramatic fashion. Pain or discomfort might bring someone to their family doctor, leading to a diagnosis. Other times it can come with a whisper—like a secret the body is itching to tell. This was how Neil Tull learned of his cancer.
For 25 years, Neil enjoyed a career as Executive Vice President of Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital (TDMH). After retiring in 1996, he and his wife, Betty, bought a farm nestled between Tillsonburg and Aylmer. Over the years, he developed a passion for horseback riding and began entering reined cow…
Legacy Impact During Health Care Crisis
Our world as we know it has changed over a very short period of time. Not in our recent memories has health care been at the forefront of our collective consciousness like it is today. During this global pandemic, we are grateful to all donors who are equipping our hospital with life-saving resources to combat COVID-19.
Legacy gifts are currently playing a key role in funding critical research into improved testing and treatment for patients with the virus.
“Community support is needed now more than ever to help fight this pandemic,” Legacy Donor Margaret…
Giving back to the communities in which we live and work is in our DNA at Rogers.
We are proud to sponsor this year’s Country Classic Auction as well as provide connectivity for this virtual fundraiser that will raise critical funds to support youth mental health in Southwestern Ontario.
In this unprecedented year, which is also the year of our 60th birthday, we are doubling down on supporting the most vulnerable in our communities, including those in our region.
Third-year mechanical engineering student, Adam Keller, had many hopes and dreams for his future. Surrounded by friends, a loving family, and a passion for design work, his life was turned upside down on his 21st birthday. “There was quite a while where I had a lump on my neck, but I didn’t think anything of it because it was not painful,” Adam recalls.
It wasn’t until Adam started experiencing back pain that kept him up at night which motivated him to book an appointment with his doctor. His doctor performed a series of tests and ordered a biopsy for the lump on Adam’s neck. For…
Cameron Smith's Story
Cameron Smith played football for years, in excruciating pain and limited hip mobility - little did he know, he had an undiagnosed condition known as hip impingement, resulting in torn cartilage. But luckily, last year, he went to Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic for help.
Now, six months after his second surgery, Cameron is happy to say he’s going to play as an offensive lineman for St. Francis Xavier, without the pain he’d lived with for as long as he could remember. “I couldn’t be happier with my treatment and two surgeries done at Fowler Kennedy. Every day I felt…
"Supporting LHSC is very important to both myself and to CIBC. During these unusual times, we are seeing real heroes in action! The sacrifice from all the frontline workers is one we must all cherish. I see it first hand as my wife is a frontline worker and our superhero at home! Thank you LHSC!"
Blair Umeri, CIBC Commercial Banking
“When I consider the many causes and ways I could give back, no group has had such a positive impact on so many members of our family and friends as London Health Sciences Centre. Angela and…
A Helping Hand in the Darkest Hour
Words can’t quite describe the impact of the Mental Health Patient Assistance Fund, which is 100 per cent donor funded. For those on the receiving end, this fund can be life-saving.
Jake was already a patient of LHSC’s Prevention and Early Intervention Program for Psychoses (PEPP) when he came home from a group session to find his mother had died by suicide in the apartment they shared together. Reeling, he immediately called PEPP. Not only did the program provide psychological and emotional support during this unbelievably traumatic time, but also financial support through…
Andy Lam's Story
On the evening of September 4, 2019, Andy Lam experienced the worst headache of his life. He went to bed and woke up the next morning in even more pain. Luckily, he managed to call 911 for help before he passed out, and the paramedics arrived just in time.
Andy, who works in the CoreLab at London Health Science Centre (LHSC), suffered from a ruptured brain aneurysm. A brain aneurysm is a bulge in the wall of an artery found in a person’s brain. Aneurysms can grow large and rupture, releasing blood into the space around the brain. This bleed can be…
Paying Forward the Kindness of Strangers
Sometimes the smallest gesture can have the greatest impact. For Carol Weekes Schacter, it was a brief moment five years ago at LHSC’s London Regional Cancer Program (LRCP).
Carol’s sister Judy was undergoing treatment for an aggressive brain tumour known as a glioblastoma and had her head shaved for brain surgery. Carol wanted to get her sister a nice wig, but knew Judy would prefer to pay for it herself; however, Judy was experiencing some financial challenges. Carol explained her sister’s situation to a volunteer at LRCP as she was perusing the wig selection. At the same…
Six years ago, Emily Marshall began noticing a pain in her right arm. An avid rugby player with a black belt in Taekwondo, she was familiar with muscle aches and sprains—this was different. X-Rays came back inconclusive. Physiotherapy didn’t seem to help, either.
“All my friends started to notice how I had this arm that was sore all the time,” Emily says. “I was dropping things and losing function in it.”
Eventually, the pain grew unbearable and she found herself in the Emergency Department at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC). She was in tears…
Fowler Kennedy gets varsity soccer player game ready
When a knee injury almost ended Tiffany’s varsity soccer career, the team at Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic (FKSMC) created a care plan to get her back to where she belongs.
Before she came to London for university, Tiffany tore her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) – one of the key ligaments that help stabilize the knee joint – and received reconstruction surgery in Toronto. But Tiffany was still in pain while playing for Western University’s varsity soccer team.
“I had recovered from my first surgery already, but my range of motion was awful,” Tiffany says…
Murray Jones remembers his first experience at the Hospital after moving to London with his wife. In 1977 they started their family and only a few years later, their young son was hospitalized after suffering a broken leg.
“My son fell off a climber and broke his femur when was only three years old. I stayed at the hospital every night for the first few weeks to comfort him. They put him in a cast from chest to toes,” he recalls. “He's 35 years old now and can't remember which leg it was!”
This was far from the last time Murray would spend at the hospital. And…
Fellowships train the next generation of cancer specialists
With new discoveries made in health care every day, the practice of medicine is constantly evolving. It is therefore essential that physicians continue to hone and refine their skills long after receiving their MDs.
At the London Regional Cancer Program (LRCP), fellowships give physicians the opportunity to become experts in a specific area of cancer care. Fellowship training may involve both clinical and research activities. Donor support provided the necessary funding for the following fellowships:
UROLOGIC ONCOLOGY FELLOWSHIP
The prestigious Urologic…
When Randy Bowden lost his taste buds, he says it was one of the lowest points in his life.
It may seem like an insignificant side effect, given other complications that can come with cancer treatments. Yet to someone who cared so much about food, it was worse than the cancer diagnosis itself.
“Even when I found out I had head and neck cancer, it was not as bad as when I found out that I could not taste anything,” he said, recalling the sadness he felt. “And they couldn’t tell me when it was going to come back or if it was going to come back.”
"My surgery was December 19th, and I was home by Christmas Eve." - Cindy Waddick
It was like an elephant sitting on her chest. That’s how Cindy Waddick described the feeling of her heart attack, days before Dr. Chu would perform a complex surgery to save her life. Cindy was discharged on Christmas Eve. She was able to spend the holidays at home with her family and new fiancé. Listen to Cindy recant her story below.
Understanding the language of breast cancer through translational research
For anyone, a cancer diagnosis is a devastating revelation. The mind reels as one’s mortality is suddenly thrust into the spotlight sooner than anticipated. More disheartening still must be the moment someone learns of its return after a months- or years-long battle. But with the help of a highly specialized team of researchers, London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is spearheading novel studies to better understand the various intricacies of breast cancer.
As a city well-recognized for the role it plays in breast cancer research, London sits on the world stage as a centre of…
On May 4, 2018, Desiree Ford was in a tragic car accident that claimed the lives of her friend and her dog.
Desiree had to be airlifted in to Victoria Hospital due to the severity of her injuries and required seven complete blood transfusions within the first 20 hours of her accident. Doctors weren’t sure she would make it through her first 24 hours, but she pulled through.
Thanks to the work of the doctors and nurses at London Health Sciences Center (LHSC), Desiree survived and has made significant strides towards healing.
Desiree’s injuries were…
The Year of Yes: Chris Slabon's Story
Chris Slabon has an anecdote for everything, it seems. His motto is: if you can make it funny, make it funny. But when he found an odd-looking mole on his chest in 2012, the jokes were put on hold, if only for a moment. After a couple of tests, he was diagnosed with melanoma, a serious form of skin cancer.
A paramedic since 1995, who’s also been teaching the course at Fanshawe College for over 12 years, Chris is no stranger to dire situations. He thrives in the chaos, he says. Making split-second…
It’s hard to imagine that life as you know it can change overnight. This was the case for thirty-eight-year-old Julie Horton, mother of three, who simply woke one morning to extreme discomfort in her neck. Eventually, the pain became so severe she couldn’t perform daily tasks like sleeping, driving or even hugging her children.
“It was like one day the pain wasn’t there and the next day, it was. It seemed to just gradually get worse and worse, causing the muscles all around to get very tight and sore,” explains Julie.
After several years, the pain in Julie’s neck…
Racing Awareness: Taylor Rayner's Story
Meet Taylor Rayner: financial advisor, racing enthusiast and advocate for mental health awareness. For as long as he can remember, Taylor has always tried putting others first. An individual hyperaware of his surroundings, negative perceptions, or comments would often be taken as personal affronts. As if the classic, fork-tongued devil was sitting idly on his shoulder, waiting for the faintest hint of criticism before whispering, “Did you hear what they just said about you?”
This internal narrative, …
“Without FEMAP, I don't know if I would be here today. FEMAP helped me find my voice and gave me the courage to use it,” says FEMAP patient Tandra Lepine, who bravely shares her story with the goal of helping others.
Tandra Lepine remembers having struggled with her mental health since she was a young child. When she was 9, she started experiencing a lot of unrest at home. She remembers witnessing a fight between her parents that led to the police coming to her home, which resulted in Tandra and her siblings having to stay at a women’s shelter with her mother for several weeks…
Enduring Words | An Anonymous Letter from a Grateful Patient
Choosing to give to charity is the willingness to share in a vision for something better—the manifestation of one’s hope for the future. At London Health Sciences Foundation, we have the distinct pleasure of helping people make a real difference in the lives of others. But still, not everyone wants to be recognized for their generosity.
Below is one such individual. It is a case of hope begetting hope: how a patient, so grateful for…
For most, the teens early twenties are a time of discovery. A time where you try to figure out who you are and where you want to go with the rest of your life. But for Dylan Fournier, a St. Mary’s native, those years were hijacked by cancer.
Now, with the help of Access Cancer Therapies (ACT) Now and Dr. Stephen Welch of LHSC, Dylan’s life is no longer dictated by cancer.
In 2012, during his freshman year of high school, Dylan was diagnosed with colitis. The symptoms became so severe that he missed a lot of school and it interfered with his ability to…
Regaining her strength along a different path: Holly Kettle's Story
She didn't notice at first, but everything changed in a moment. When 38-year-old triathlete Holly Kettle headed out for a short morning run last June, she felt great. Afterward, she headed to her job at Erie Shores HealthCare, in Leamington, where she works as a charge nurse. But by the end of her shift, Holly was experiencing unbearable pain in her left hip. She left the hospital only to return a couple of hours later as a patient.
“At that point, I knew something was very wrong,” says Holly. Diagnostic tests revealed a tear in her labrum, the…