By Heather Vita
THUNDER BAY – Giving Tuesday is an international day of giving, taking place directly after the sales of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s a day where people rally behind and support their favourite causes.
The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation used the excitement of the day to kick off their annual Christmas Wish List fundraising campaign, which comprises of 5 pieces of vital medical equipment for the Hospital. Totaling $83,881, the Wish List includes a Fetal Telemetry Monitor for Labour and Delivery, two Bili Blankets for Maternal Newborn/NICU, a Rapid Infuser Blood and Fluid Warmer for the Emergency Department and a Defibrillator for the Cardiac Catheterization Lab. Specifically, the goal of Giving Tuesday was to raise $13,000 in 24 hours to fully fund the purchase of the Bili Blankets.
Chair, Board of Directors of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation, Jody Nesti celebrated the remarkable generosity of donors on Giving Tuesday who donated $30,456, thereby funding both Bili Blankets. “Not only did our donors step forward to ensure newborns at our Hospital have the latest in phototherapy equipment to treat jaundice, but the additional amount raised will go directly to fund a Fetal Telemetry Monitor from the Wish List.”
Added Nesti, “Our donors are incredibly generous all year long, but especially at Christmas and I want to especially take this opportunity to thank those who committed to matching gifts on Tuesday to build momentum and challenge our community to step forward: Maurice and Jackie Black who pledged to match $4,000, along with Investors Group, Daytona’s Restaurant and Creative Catering, and Sam and Pina Augruso from Rainbow Printers who each pledged to match $1,000, and past Board Director, Vince Mirabelli, who pledged to match $500. These philanthropic leaders truly have shown what it means to give this season.”
Continued Nesti, “As much as we are celebrating Tuesday’s tallies, we still have a lot of work to do to cross off the remaining items on our Wish List. These are critical pieces of equipment that will benefit many patients that use our Hospital.”
Lisa Beck, Director, Critical Care & Emergency Services, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre stressed how vital it is to have life-saving equipment available at the right time. “Seconds are critical in many situations,” said Beck. “Ensuring our teams in various Units across the Hospital have access to the equipment they need right away is essential. For instance, when a trauma patient comes into our Emergency Department, they may need an infusion of blood or other fluids immediately. With the Rapid Infuser, we’ll be able to provide warm fluids, which is crucial when dealing with the volumes needed in life saving situations.”
One person who has seen, first-hand, how the team in the Emergency Department handles trauma is Pamela Peterson, whose husband suffered a life-threatening trauma after falling from an 8-foot ladder onto a concrete floor. “My experience in the emergency department as a family member of a patient in trauma care was a positive one. The reason for being there was not, of course, but the outcome of the Emergency Department’s expertise in this area made for a happy ending. It’s so important for me to give back to this area because they did so much for my husband and I, so in a small way I feel we can do something for them.”
“There are so many patients and families who count on the generosity of our donors to ensure we have the very best medical equipment so we can have care close to home,” concluded Nesti. “I want to again thank all those who made a donation on Giving Tuesday, and encourage those who are still considering a gift this Christmas to help ensure we bring the latest in life-saving equipment to our Hospital.”
Donations to any item on the Christmas Wish List will be gratefully accepted throughout the entire month of December. Gifts made now provide the best gift of all – the gift of time together.
Donations can be made at: healthsciencesfoundation.ca/wishlist, by calling 345-4673, in-person at the Hospital at the Donation Centre next to the Christmas Tree or by mail to Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation, 980 Oliver Rd, Thunder Bay, ON P7B 6V4