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In a poignant act of philanthropy, the late Archie Verspeeten, a distinguished figure in the trucking industry and a fervent champion for cancer research, has donated an extraordinary $20 million donation to London Health Sciences Foundation (LHSF). This groundbreaking gift is set to transform cancer treatment, profoundly influence patient outcomes and redefine the trajectory of London Health Sciences Centre's (LHSC) London Regional Cancer Program, which will soon be renamed the Verspeeten Family Cancer Centre, in honour of this significant gift.
The announcement of this gift comes just three days after Archie’s passing early Saturday morning.
This generous donation marks the largest gift ever in the history of hospital foundations in Southwestern Ontario. It serves to highlight Archie's steadfast dedication to eliminating cancer—one steeped in profound personal significance through the loss of his wife Irene and sons, Alan and Ron, to the disease. The contribution not only represents a staggering $27 million total investment in LHSC over the years by Archie and Irene, but also a heartfelt commitment to revolutionize cancer care.
"Archie's transformative gift is a beacon of hope and a testament of his determination to eliminate the scourge of cancer,” says John. H MacFarlane, President & CEO of LHSF. “This historic donation will propel cancer treatment to new heights, enabling us to pioneer groundbreaking research, enhance patient care and effectively improve the way we operate.”
The impact of this donation extends far beyond monetary value—it is a catalyst for change in cancer treatment paradigms.
"This historic donation from Archie and Irene will not only elevate the quality of care for our current patients but will also fundamentally change the trajectory of cancer treatment for future generations,” says Dr. Michael Ott, Physician Executive of Oncology at LHSC. “We are immensely grateful for this visionary support, which will empower our team to lead the charge against cancer in innovative and unprecedented ways.”
Before he passed, Archie underscored the deep personal significance of the donation:
"The loss of my wife and sons to cancer has intensified my determination to create a lasting impact in the battle against this devastating disease,” he said. “My family and I have steadfastly supported the London Regional Cancer Program, recognizing its indispensable role in the community. This gift is more than a financial investment; it represents a strategic move toward finding a cure for cancer and reshaping the LRCP into a sanctuary of hope and healing. I sincerely hope this contribution will not only advance efforts toward a cure but also enhance the quality of life for patients, allowing them to live comfortably despite the challenges of the disease."
The transformative donation is anticipated to usher in a new era for LHSC’s London Regional Cancer Program, which is set to be renamed the Verspeeten Family Cancer Centre, propelling it to the forefront of cancer research and treatment. With this historic gift, Archie has set a precedent for philanthropy in health care, exemplifying how community support can shape the future of medical advancements and patient care.