Renewal Campaign Archives

I had no symptoms

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.