Donation of $501,161 Supports Cancer Care and Cardiovascular Surgery

Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre

THUNDER BAY – HEALTH – There was a remarkable display of generosity at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre this morning. Marian Boxer, on behalf of the Bachinski family, announced a donation of securities totalling $501,161 that will be directed to both cancer care and cardiovascular surgery. Marian was accompanied by her brother Sam Bachinski and wife Margot Freitag, along with their children Mitchell and Claudia. Her sister Linda Drindak and husband Paul were unable to attend but also contributed. “This donation is from our entire family,” said Marian, “and is in honour of our mother Anne Bachinski (nee Kyryluk), father Samuel Patrick Bachinski and their granddaughter, Susan Jane Drindak.”

“Our mother was one of the first patients at this Hospital where she received care for kidney cancer, which came about quite unexpectedly. Her care was terrific – Dr. Anthes, in particular, was wonderful – however, she ended up passing away in May 2004,” said Marian. “We’d always expected my father would pre-decease her as it was him who experienced more health problems, so it was a bit of a shock to see her go.”

“Our parents, who were married almost sixty years, couldn’t quite seem to be apart, because our father passed away seven months later after having a heart attack,” continued Marian. “The thing you have to understand about my father is that he absolutely loved Christmas. And it was fitting that he passed away on Christmas Day. We always said he found a way to be with his family that day and with Mom.”

“While we wanted to honour our parents, we also wanted to use this donation to honour our parents’ granddaughter Susan, who was only seven years old when she passed away from arthritis,” said Marian. “She was truly loved by us all and will never be forgotten.”

Marian specifically chose to make a donation of securities to recognize the excellent care her family members’ received. “It feels great to be able to make this donation, and at the same time, be rewarded with tax-saving opportunities. I’d encourage anyone who is looking to minimize their capital gains to consider giving in this way.”

“What Marian and her family have given is inspirational and our thanks go to them for making this impactful donation,” said Dr. Stewart Kennedy, Executive Vice President, Regional Programs, Clinical Supports and Medical Affairs, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. “We know that close-to-home care is a high priority for our patients and their families, and this donation means we will be able to continue to offer local access to exceptional cancer care and a future that includes local access to cardiovascular surgery.”

Eric Zakrewski, Vice-Chair, Our Hearts At Home Cardiovascular Campaign remarked, “Thanks to your generous donation, we’re one step closer to serving 1,000 patients each year who won’t have to travel out-of-town for life-saving surgical care. Not only that, this surgical program will boost Thunder Bay’s economy with the addition of at least 60 new full-time health care positions, with an estimated regional economic impact over a 10 year period of between $130-$150M. This program is great for business development and will bring a much-needed boost to our economy.”

For Bob Stewart, Co-Owner of Caribou Restaurant and Wine Bar and The Keg Steakhouse, more customers are always welcome, but he had a more personal reason for supporting both cancer and cardiovascular care. He said, “I was one of the founding organizers of the Caribou Charity Ride, which raised funds to support our local cancer program. I’ve always believed that our community deserves access to the best cancer care without having to leave home. In 2018, while I was preparing to go out on the Ride, Dr. Kennedy stopped me because he could see something wasn’t right. That fateful meeting led me to go to the Hospital right away and eventually, after a few days and some tests, it was determined that I needed triple bypass surgery and needed to go to Toronto. Had Dr. Kennedy not stopped me that morning before I got on my bike, I would likely be dead. I am overwhelmed with gratitude to be alive today and incredibly grateful to people like Marian and her family for choosing to support our community’s healthcare and ensure that people like me will no longer need to travel away from home.”