COVID-19 Update #14

Message from the President & CEO

October 21, 2020

In the time that has passed since my last update, much has changed. We are starting to see the second wave of COVID-19 and with the spread comes increased restrictions and a request to stay home as much as possible. In addition to COVID-19, the Fall has brought cooler weather and the beginning of the cold and flu season. Although it may seem daunting and we are encouraged to stay home, it does not mean we cannot have fun and spend time together, albeit, virtually! There are still ways for everyone to participate in events and enjoy live entertainment from the comforts of your own home.

Here at the Foundation, we have transitioned our events online and over the past several months we have seen tremendous participation and overwhelming generosity in our virtual events. Walk of Champions went virtual in support of Myeloma Research and raised over $75,000 while Showdown in the Downtown held an online concert with Our Lady Peace in support of kidney disease that raised over $280,000; the highest amount for this event to date! And coming up on Thursday November 5th at 8:00 p.m. we have CCA@home where you’ll have access to award-winning surprise entertainment and a silent auction in the comfort of your home via a free livestream or on Rogers TV. This fun-filled night is focused on continuing to make a difference for youth mental health in our community. Mark your calendar so you don’t miss out!  

I continue to be humbled by the generosity our community and our donors have shown. Not only has there been unwavering support for COVID-19 initiatives, such as research and purchasing equipment, but the ongoing support for our highest priority needs at LHSC has also remained steadfast. Thank you for standing behind London Health Sciences Foundation during these difficult times and making a difference for the patients and families cared for at London Health Sciences Centre. 

Just last week, we announced a transformational $3 million gift from Archie and Irene Verspeeten to create a first of its kind in Canada Clinical Genome Centre. The Verspeeten Centre will result in state-of-the-art genetic diagnostics that will more accurately diagnose patients, predict the progress of their disease and provide highly targeted and new treatment options. This gift will have a profound effect on the lives of patients, not only in our community but also in communities around the world as new treatments and research breakthroughs are discovered and shared. To celebrate this transformational gift, we hosted a virtual panel discussion featuring Dr. Bekim Sadikovic, Dr. Mike Kadour, Dr. Stephen Welch and Dr. Glenn Bauman, that was hosted by CTV’s Nick Paparella. The Verspeeten Clinical Genome Centre is unique because it integrates the advanced translational research capabilities of a genome centre within the highly standardized and regulated clinical diagnostic laboratory environment. To watch this truly inspirational gift announcement and panel discussion please click here. I extend our deepest gratitude to Archie and Irene Verspeeten for their ongoing support, vision and passion to find a cure to end cancer.

It is my commitment to you, that we at the foundation, will continue to keep you informed, honour your kindness, fulfil your vision and celebrate your generosity. It is because of you, that making a difference is possible.

Once again, thank you for your continued support, generosity and commitment. Please continue to stay safe and healthy. 

If you are looking for more information, please visit our website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.  For additional information on COVID-19 and how to protect yourself and your family, please visit the hospital’s website.

Remember, together our future is brighter.

With gratitude,

John H. MacFarlane, BBA, LL.B, MPA
President & CEO
London Health Sciences Foundation