Renewal Campaign Archives

"You just saved PéPé’s life!" - Roger Rocheleau

You and I don't know each other ... but it’s possible you’ve picked some pumpkins at my patch! My name is Roger Rocheleau. I’m the proud owner of PéPé’s Pumpkin Patch in LaSalle. I'm writing to tell you a story about the day I almost died. And how the amazing team at Windsor Regional Hospital saved my life.

With your help.

It was back in January of this year. I’d driven to Leamington with one of my colleagues, Rick, to pick up 2,000 empty baskets. We were back and unloading the truck. I was counting the baskets out loud, when all of a sudden, I couldn’t speak anymore. I couldn’t count. And my words were coming out all mumbly jumbly.

Thankfully, Rick called 911 right away. All I could do was lie down on one of my carts.

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Within 10 minutes, an ambulance was there. In just a little over an hour, I was in surgery at Windsor Regional Hospital.

The reason I’m telling you this story is because you were part of the team that saved my life that day. Rick, the 911 operator, the paramedics, the doctors and nurses at the hospital … and you. Through your dedicated support as a generous donor.

You see, what a lot of people don’t know is that nearly every piece of equipment used by our doctors and nurses at the hospital to save the lives of people like you and me … is purchased with donations made by people like you and me.

Which brings me to the second reason I’m telling you this story today.

Right now, the medical team is in urgent need of a Monoplane, which is an important piece of technology that allows our doctors to do minimally invasive procedures.

What does this machine do to help the people you and I love? Well, it can be used for so many procedures – removing blood clots (like I had), stopping bleeding, help with dialysis, image-guided biopsies in cancer patients, and supporting kidney and bladder surgery. The less invasive a surgery is, the faster recovery is for patients. And just as important – this keeps the OR free for more extensive surgeries and emergencies.

Will you help them by making a donation today?

Equipment, research, patient care. Your gifts matter to every department of this hospital. And it all goes into saving lives, and getting patients back home to their families.

I had never heard before about the procedure the doctor used to help me. It’s called Endovascular Treatment – a type of procedure used to clear a blood clot. Basically, the doctors went up through my groin all the way to my brain to suck the blood clot out.

There wasn’t any pain - not one iota.

Within days, I was walking along the halls. I can’t speak highly enough of the outstanding care I had there. The nurses and doctors were absolutely incredible.

A few days afterwards, I awoke to see a woman standing at the end of the bed. I asked who she was and she said, “Well, I’m the doctor that operated on you.”

We talked for about ten minutes. I asked her if she had any young children, and she told me she did – a four-year-old and a ten-year-old.

Then I asked her if she’d ever heard of PéPé’s Pumpkin Patch. She said she’d been there several times with the kids.

So I said … “Well, God bless you - because you just saved PéPé’s life!”

She was so surprised! And couldn’t wait to go home and tell her family that she had saved PéPé!

That’s what your gifts do. With our doctors’ and nurses’ medical expertise - and your generosity - together, we save the lives of our friends and neighbours. We help them out when they need it most.

Today, I’d like to ask if you’ll do two things. They won’t take long, I promise.

First, will you take a moment to remind yourself of the signs of a stroke? You could save the life of someone you care about, just like Rick’s quick-thinking saved mine.

  1. Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially down one side;
  2. Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding speech;
  3. Sudden trouble seeing;
  4. Sudden trouble walking - or loss of balance;
  5. Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

Just remember the word “FAST”:

F - Face. Ask the person to smile. Does one side of their face droop?
A - Arms. Can your friend raise their arms?
S - Speech. Can they say a simple phrase? Is their speech slurred?
T - Time. Don’t wait. Call 911.

Second, will you take another moment, and make a special gift to the hospital today?

Your donation to the Windsor Regional Hospital Foundation will help purchase that essential equipment I told you about. And so many other pieces of equipment and technology and patient care that will make all the difference when time is so critical.

From one neighbour to another, I can assure you - your gift will be put to the very best possible use. I’ve seen its impact with my own eyes. It’s the reason I’m here today.

Thank you once again for your generosity.


Roger Rocheleau (aka PéPé)

P.S. Supporting the hospital with a small monthly gift can also be a great way to help. There are details on your donation form. But whatever way you choose to give today, all that matters is that we stick together, and we’re here for each other when we need a friend. Thank you again. And perhaps I’ll see you at the pumpkin patch!



You don't know me. But you - along with the amazing medical team at Windsor Regional Hospital - helped save my life. - Gordon Martin

I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the people in our community who support our wonderful hospital so generously. Like you. Once upon a time, I took our hospital for granted – but not anymore. Now I’ve learned just how seriously our hospital relies on the support of our community – and how each and every one of us relies on our hospital.

It all started on a lovely hot June day a couple of years ago, when I was having a visit with a friend in their backyard.

Suddenly I had a massive seizure. I was rushed to the hospital where I had a CAT scan. Then I was transferred to the Ouellette campus, where an MRI confirmed I had a mass the size of a golf ball behind my right eye.

It was cancer.

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My aunt died of a brain tumour. They didn’t find hers until it was stage 4. I was lucky that mine was a stage 2. And I was also so lucky to live in Windsor and to be in the care of one of the finest medical teams in the country – led by Dr. Jawar, who I personally believe is the best neurosurgeon in Ontario.

Dr. Jawar told me he thinks that the tumour was growing there for 18 years! I’m not ashamed to say I was scared. But not when Dr. Jawar told me he had a plan.

By January or February of last year – 2020 – MRIs showed the tumour was growing. That’s when Dr. Jawar said it was time to operate.

I was in the hospital for four days after the surgery. I can’t say enough about our health care team. They were great from the very start and all the way through.

It made such a difference that I didn’t have to travel to another hospital to have my surgery. That’s why I feel like we are so fortunate to have the Windsor Regional Hospital right here in our community. And why I’m so passionate about telling my story so that people will know how much their support truly counts.

You are one of those people who helps neighbours in need – like me – through your ongoing support of the Windsor Regional Hospital Foundation.

And that’s why I say … thank you, thank you, thank you – a thousand times.

I was born in that hospital as well. It holds a special place in my heart. I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t have a good health care team behind me.

And I don’t know what our hospital would do if they didn’t have good neighbours like you behind them.

That’s why I’m hoping that you’ll be able to join in the Foundation’s latest fundraising campaign – to help purchase new equipment that will help patients undergoing surgery for brain tumours. Specifically, the specialized instruments and technology that our medical teams are hoping to purchase will surgeons better see and navigate the brain and spine. Whether that’s $10, $25, or whatever you can do – all that matters is that we all help out as much as we can.

I offered to share my story with the hospital’s supporters today for the simple reason that it might give someone hope.

I know that many of us are facing health challenges – especially as we get older. Or we have loved ones who are. This is what I’ve learned: never give up hope. Hope is a wonderful thing. It keeps me going every day. And hopefully, it will do the same for you.

Please accept my thanks once again for being a supporter of the Windsor Regional Hospital Foundation. And please do consider making that special gift today if you are able to. I can tell you from the front lines – it will be used to serve the people in our community when they need help the most.

From one neighbour to another – thank you.

Gordon (Gord) Martin, one very grateful patient


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I want your donors to know that, without them, my husband would be gone. They’ve helped us keep our life together.

It happened suddenly. For years, Alan McLean had been a diabetic. Then all of a sudden, his kidneys failed, and he went into a diabetic coma.

Al and his wife, JoAnn, were rushed to Windsor from Chatham, after leaving their home in Blenheim. And that’s when their journey with Windsor Regional Hospital began.

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Now - over twenty years later - they have a message for neighbours like you. About just how vital your support of the hospital has been to them. And how grateful they are for the care Al has received there. Here are JoAnn’s words:

“I’ll start crying because the doctors and nurses and everyone at the hospital has been so good to us. They’ve helped us through every step. They’re positive. They’re loving. They’re like family. We couldn’t have done it without them.

Alan McLean And they couldn’t have done it without their donors.

Without the hospital, I wouldn’t have Al. Without dialysis, he wouldn’t be here. And without donations from their supporters, the hospital wouldn’t have had the machines and the technology to help him.”

We owe you a debt of great thanks to our supporters of this hospital. So many families feel the same way as JoAnn: without you, the passionate, committed medical teams here at Windsor Regional Hospital simply wouldn’t have the tools they need to keep our loved ones alive.

Thank you for caring about so many neighbours in this community. And in this region. In just the last year, your compassion and generosity have done so much.

When we reached out last year and asked for your help in purchasing 25 Glidescope Blades to intubate patients with difficult airways, you were there for us.

When we explained that we needed 60 new HiLo Beds for our high-dependency patients who are at risk of falling, you stepped up and helped us buy them. And when we asked for your help in funding 20 Cystoscopes so our doctors could treat patients with prostate cancer and kidney stones, you didn’t hesitate to help out.

Our supporters went above and beyond, day in and day out, to help us wage hundreds of personal battles against COVID-19 … providing Personal Protective Equipment and generous support to all our front-line workers. Donors have also helped purchase a GenExpert machine which allows us to conduct rapid COVID-19 testing for our most vulnerable patients.

In your own life, I am sure you can think of many family members and friends who have been helped here at Windsor Regional Hospital. Perhaps some have relied on the very equipment you helped us purchase last year. What a wonderful feeling to know you played your part in helping them get well.

Knowing how much you care about the health and well-being of families in this region, may I call on your generosity once again? I’ve received the list of special equipment needs from our medical team and there are pieces that are vital to keeping our friends and loved ones safe.

Right now, our doctors need equipment like mammotome probes – used to diagnose breast cancer for high-risk patients. And telemetry packs, which act as a portable heart monitor for our cardiac patients. Plus, our nurses need new birthing beds, to support mothers during labour and delivery.

Each and every gift you make to the Windsor Regional Hospital touches someone’s life. Any donation you can make today will help us purchase the equipment that our doctors and nurses need.

As Al McLean says: “That’s why the hospital needs funding. They need donations for all these different machines to help people keep their lives. I would do anything for this hospital.”

When you donate to the Windsor Regional Hospital Foundation, you are investing in our future. In the future of your community members in Windsor-Essex County. You are investing in the people you love — and even in yourself.

And we couldn’t be more grateful.


Thank you for everything you did for us. I know that if something happens in the future, my son will never feel alone.

Young Asaad is only 11 years old, but he has already spent more time in the hospital than most of us do in a lifetime.

You see, the gifts you give to support the Windsor Regional Hospital doesn't "just" buy essential equipment. Although that is critically important.

Your donations also lift our patients' spirits - and they tell patients and their families, "You are not alone - I am here, and I am rooting for you!"

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That's why I'm writing to you. To let you know how meaningful your donations are. And to ask if this holiday season, you'll reach out in compassion to our patients once again, by contributing to our Tree of Caring campaign?

You may recall that each year at this time, we create a Tree of Caring at the hospitals. We ask friends and supporters like you to send in little messages of support to the patients who are spending the holidays at the hospital. It helps tremendously to keep spirits bright. And we know that bright spirits play their own important role in health and healing.

The thing that has kept him smiling and positive all these years? YOU.

Once I've told you a little bit about Assad and his family, I hope you'll see what a difference you can make, today, to a family going through a hard and lonely time.

Assad was only two weeks old when he was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. Along with his parents, he was back and forth to the hospital every two weeks, then every month, and then every three months for tests and treatment.

When he was four years old, Assad developed stomach problems. He would throw up 10-12 times a day. He wasn't gaining any weight and he was really tiny for his age group.

In December 2019, our doctors at Windsor Regional Hospital CF clinic operated on Assad to insert a G-tube through his nose. Then they referred him for surgery to put a feeding tube in his stomach. After that, he began getting taller and healthier.

Along with his feeding tube, this brave boy takes more than 40 pills each day. He has two puffers in the morning and two at night. He has a small machine that he uses to keep his lungs open. And he's a frequent guest at the Windsor Regional Hospital.

Assad's mother will tell you how it's the small things staff do that make a real difference. The 'small but mighty' things you fund.

"Kids with CF get a bead for every treatment, new meds, lab tests, surgery, regular follow-ups, and special occasions like birthdays, Hallowe'en and Christmas. They keep them in a string in order, so it tells their story. Every bead has a purpose. This program is called beads of courage."

Assad and his mom talk about all the people who have cared so devotedly for him at the hospital. From the medical teams who spent extra time explaining procedures to Assad's parents so they would feel reassured, to the nurse who regularly brings him hot chocolate, to the cleaner who visits even when she is off-duty.

You are part of that loving family. And, of course, donors like you fund nearly every piece of medical equipment we have here.

Today your holiday donation will help us purchase equipment like syringe pumps. They cost $4,500 each and our teams use them to feed babies and to give IV medications to infants and children. We are also in urgent need of a central monitoring system, allowing the nursing staff to constantly monitor a child's heart rate, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation. This is a very expensive piece of equipment, but pulling together - like the people of Windsor and Essex County are famous for doing - we can fund it!

I wish you peace and joy during the upcoming holidays. I hope you know what a special part of our hospital you are. And I look forward to working with you to care for patients like Assad.

Assad's mother wants me to pass along this message: "You have made us feel that we are not alone. You have given us peace, and support," It takes a special person to care about someone who you may never meet. But you do that with every donation you make to the hospital. Please take a moment to write your message for our Tree of Caring. And your gift will help keep spirits bright this winter. Thank you.

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I had no symptoms - Noel Hurley

In February 2020, I had a routine PSA test as part of my annual physical. It came back high. Soon afterward my doctor performed a biopsy that confirmed the worst: I had Grade 5 prostate cancer. High risk and aggressive.

And yet still, I had no symptoms.

I'm a former cancer patient at Windsor Regional Hospital. And I'm writing to thank you for your dedicated support of this hospital. I've been given a new lease on life - and it's thanks to you.

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I'm also writing to ask you two important things.

First - please ask all the men in your life to get their prostate checked regularly. If I hadn't, I can tell you that I wouldn't be here today writing this letter to you.

Second - I'm writing to ask if you'll join me in raising funds for Windsor Regional Hospital for their truly excellent work caring for cancer patients like me.

Noel Hurley

My surgery with Dr. Goel was scheduled for May 4th. My wife, Elizabeth, and I were feeling hopeful - Dr. Goel's empathy and welcoming attitude gave us optimism that we had not felt since we'd been given the news that I had cancer.

But then - the world shut down.

There is no good time to be told that you have cancer. But finding out I had cancer and needed urgent treatment right as the Coronavirus hit was truly bad timing.

Dr. Goel called me directly and assured me that he would maintain close contact and monitor me during the delay. That when surgery resumed, I would be one of his highest priorities given the high risk and aggressive nature of my cancer.

The doctor was true to his word - and as soon as things opened back up again, my surgery was rescheduled.

That's when I really got to see how uniquely dedicated and compassionate the staff of Windsor Regional Hospital truly are.

And how much they rely on state-of-the-art equipment
… equipment that they can only purchase with the support of individuals like you and me.

From the nurse who took my blood samples pre-surgery, to the anesthesiologist, to the operating team nurses and Dr. Goel - they all took time to make me feel reassured and safe. And my post-operative and recovery care has been just as good.

Noel Hurley

That's.why.I.volunteered to write this letter. I think it's important to recognize how professional and dedicated the team at Windsor Regional Hospital is. My family and I owe this hospital a great deal - not only was I treated there, but four of my grandchildren were born there!

I saw first-hand that this pandemic has taxed the capabilities of all our hospitals, and placed a great strain on doctors, nurses, other medical professionals, and support staff.

I feel like the least I can do is help get them the equipment they need to do their jobs the best they can - caring for the people you and I love.

If you are able, I hope you'll consider making a donation today to buy the equipment that helps save lives and speed patients on the road to recovery. In particular, right now our doctors and nurses need:

  • Twenty flexible Cystoscopes, which doctors use to treat people with urology issues like prostate cancer and kidney stones. These cost $18,500 each.
  • Two Neptune Drainage systems, which are used in the operating room to dispose of surgical fluid waste. These cost $20,000 each.
  • One Ambulatory Met Procedure table, which is used in the care of patients with minor procedures. This costs $24,170.

I realize that these are sizable sums. But I also know that fantastic hospitals like ours rely on the community to pull together and support them. And Windsor has a fantastic community. If we all chip in what we can, together we'll succeed!

Thank you for reading my story today. I wish you health and happiness to you and to your family. I am very much looking forward to resuming my own favorite hobby … spending time with mine.

With sincere best wishes,

Noel Hurley, grateful patient

P.S. As I said, I have a new lease on life, thanks to you and your support of Windsor Regional Hospital. Now I want to give that gift to others. Through our donations to the hospital, you and I have the opportunity to help people when they need it most. Thank you again for your compassion and your generosity.

If you ever wonder how much of a difference you make through your generous support of the Windsor Regional Hospital, just ask Dan Tullio.

Not so long ago, Dan was an active, physically fit 62-year-old, living in LaSalle. In fact, he had just run the Niagara half marathon!

But in 2018, Dan began feeling pain in his lower back. His doctor ordered a series of tests, but the pain grew worse and worse. The tests showed that a cyst was growing in his spinal canal.

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Tulio And Grandkids Eventually, Dan could barely walk and lost sensation in his foot.

Then last March, Dan came to the Ouellette Campus of Windsor Regional Hospital for a second MRI. The cyst had grown.

Within a month, Dan had surgery and by the next day, he was walking without pain. Dan will tell you how incredibly important it was to him that he could have his surgery and his recovery so close to home, right here in Windsor:

"I am retired. At the time, I lost my dad who was taking care of my 70-year-old handicapped brother. My younger brother and I had to take on that role. Having this procedure done in Windsor just made it so much easier instead of traveling two or four hours away to another hospital. It would have been extremely difficult, so thank you Windsor Regional for having the ability to do this."

There is one single reason why we can offer such a high level of health care right here at home. That reason is donors like you.

It is no exaggeration. Did you know that donors fund nearly all the equipment our doctors and nurses use to help our friends and neighbours in need?

It's true. Last year alone, donors helped us purchase a 3D Digital Mammography Machine, which will increase the accuracy of breast cancer detection - saving the lives of many women we care about - and a CT scan. The hospital recently acquired a "Neuro Navigation System," which our doctors describe as being like a GPS for the brain.

Will you consider supporting Windsor Regional Hospital Foundation today with your donation of whatever you can give so that we can purchase more of the equipment our medical teams urgently require?

Our doctors need special scopes to help them diagnose and treat urology issues like kidney and bladder stones, prostate problems, and bladder control issues. They also need new defibrillators to save the lives of patients suffering from a heart attack.

If you are like me, you know many people who face health issues like these. It is comforting to know that we can give our medical teams the very best equipment to take care of the people we love. Please do support us if you can.

I will leave you with a few more words from Dan ...

"A couple of weeks after the surgery, I was able to pick up my grandchildren again. It was unbelievable. I am thankful that we have this hospital, the equipment, and the doctors. The treatment I received really gave me the opportunity to get my life back again.

Thank you to all the donors that contribute as well. I am extremely grateful and feel fortunate that we have caring people like you who donate to Windsor Regional Hospital."

"I'm alive, thanks to you!" - Nathan Boutcher

All my life I've been dealing with kidney failure in some form. My father suffered from kidney disease and it was a huge part of my family's life. It took its toll.

At 22 years old, my kidneys failed and I needed emergency dialysis. While I was still in the hospital as a patient, my father passed away down the hall from me at the young age of 49.

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Nathan Windsor Regional Hospital Foundation You can imagine how traumatic his death was for my family. And with my diagnosis, I was scared I may face the same future. But something changed for me. I began to see a future where I was able. I can honestly say that in the last four years of my life, each year has been the best year ever.

In the beginning, I suffered tremendously. But as the years went on, I healed and learned more about my disease. I discovered many tools and strategies to improve my well-being. Today I exercise regularly. I am deeply joyful and grateful. And that is thanks to these dialysis treatments, without which I would not be here.

I am so thankful for people in our community who support the Windsor Regional Hospital Foundation. Donations from people like you help fund equipment like the dialysis machines that I rely on each week to survive. With support from generous donors, the Hospital opened a brand new facility less than two years ago to care for patients like me.

Community members like you are a lifeline!

Donor support makes amazing, lifesaving care happen across the entire hospital. And I want you to know that patients like me are deeply thankful for this generosity. With your donation today you will equip your hospital with the best tools and technology and help provide outstanding care.

You can help Windsor Regional Hospital to continue making a life-changing difference for folks like me. Will you please consider making a donation toward the hospital's most urgent needs across all departments?

Some of the top priorities right now include equipment to help people with kidney disease. There are quite a few items that need to be replaced, including 25 treatment chairs at $5,498 each. Dialysis patients like me have to sit in them for up to 4 solid hours.

The new chairs will let us switch positions with adjustable backs to relieve discomfort. Swing-arms give those with disabilities easier access. Massage settings ease the aches of sitting for so long. And height adjustments prevent strain on the care team who dialysis patients rely on during treatments. These chairs really are a lifeline for all patients like me who are being treated for kidney disease.

Your donation will also help to purchase equipment in other areas of the hospital.

How donations from donors touch my life:

  • My renal dialysis treatments are 3 times a week for 4 hours each time.
  • A machine takes the blood from my body and puts it through an artificial kidney to remove waste products from the blood. As you can imagine, medical professionals like nurses and nephrologists are all part of the procedure.
  • The treatments are taxing on the body. So after treatment, I recover by eating a meal, taking a nap, and eating again once I wake up. Each patient's routine on dialysis is different as each of us reacts differently to the treatment.
  • Treatment days can be time-consuming between the preparation, travel, the treatment itself, and then recovery... it does make life more challenging. However, through time and experience, I have learned what works for me, and I am doing very well!

That is why I'm so grateful to have this care close to home! It has allowed me to continue pursuing a meaningful life, chasing my dreams as an entrepreneur and working as a Yoga teacher.

Can you imagine if I had to travel to get treatment? It would put a lot more limitations on my life. On the lives of many people, in fact, because the hospital performs 43,085 renal dialysis treatments a year!

So, let me thank you in advance for taking action with your donation.

Government funding doesn't cover a lot of essential equipment and technology. That means people like you are responsible for the world-class care we have here in our backyards.

Your support today will mean everything to me and so many other patients.

Wouldn't it be incredible to give someone back the ability to walk?

That's exactly what our donors did - just last year - through their support of the Windsor Regional Hospital Foundation.

Thank you for your dedication to our hospital. Let us tell you a story about a woman named Lori who is walking today because of your generosity and your compassion.

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Windsor Regional Hospital Foundation donors helped purchase the equipment that our hospital urgently needed last year. Like two ultrasound machines, a CAT scan machine, and two echocardiography machines to diagnose patients and begin the treatment they need to get better and return home to their families. Donors also helped fund an ECG wireless cart for monitoring our patients' heart rate and vital statistics. Lori Windsor Regional Hospital Foundation

Patients like Lori. I'm honoured to thank you, on her behalf, and on behalf of all the patients, we treat here and their families. Your support is essential to our hospital. I can't imagine a greater joy than knowing you helped save and improve the lives of people right here in our community.

Donate Now to ensure that we can continue to offer world-class care to the families in our region - including people you and I care about.

Please let me tell you about one family whose lives you played such a part in At this time last year, Lori Tonial of Tecumseh was experiencing such extreme lower back pain that walking was unbearable. She could barely take a step without crying in pain.

But Lori had a dream - to dance with her son at his wedding.

For months it must have seemed impossible. Until Lori was referred to our amazing neurosurgical and spine team.

"In my eyes, the doctors are miracle workers. And everyone involved in my care was so professional and kind, each and every person went out of their way to put me at ease. The treatment I received was like you would give to a.friend or a family member," she says.

Three months after her surgery, Lori did, indeed, dance with her son on his wedding day.

Lori says she is "forever grateful" to the medical team that changed her life. Because without the equipment that you help fund, they wouldn't be able to perform the miracles they do.

I hope you will consider helping other neighbours in our region who need care. Our doctors and nurses have told us that we need equipment such as a portable x-ray machine, a 3D digital mammography machine, and cardiac ultrasound probes. This equipment and more will help our health care teams to diagnose and treat patients so they can return back home to their families.

Any gift you can make - whether through a cheque, credit card, or becoming a member of our monthly giving club - will be used wisely to purchase the equipment that will serve our patients the best. All that matters is having you with us once again, as a supporter of our hospital.

Like Lori says, we consider every patient we treat here to be "friend or family." That's what makes this community so special. I am thrilled to work with you and for you to safeguard the outstanding care offered here at Windsor Regional Hospital.