Mike and Ethel Marley are so determined to see the Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s $10 million fundraising campaign succeed that they plan to match all donations until it reaches its first fundraising goal. funds.
As of Tuesday, the Emerge Stronger campaign had $600,000 to hit that $4 million threshold.
The Marleys want to show their gratitude to the local health system for the treatment Mike received after being diagnosed with congestive heart failure.
He said he felt like he “won the lottery” with the treatment he received.
“We are privileged to have the best care, but only because we support all of our hospitals,” Ethel said.
Foundation executive director Avery Brohman said she hopes the Marleys’ contribution will “spur more donations.”
Emerge Stronger, launched in October, focuses on raising funds for more than 200 medical devices. The first phase is called “Recovery” because the COVID-19 pandemic has created considerable stress in the healthcare system and led to increased hospitalizations and burnout, Brohman said.
Cancer care and cardiac care are among the areas benefiting from the first phase.
The second $3 million phase of the campaign is “Local Care” and focuses on new equipment that has never been available locally “so people don’t have to leave the island”, said Brohman said.
An example of this is the $318,000 O-Arm Imaging System – a first for the island which will keep advanced brain and spine surgeries here. It is named after the shape of the arm that is part of its design.
The third and final phase, also with a goal of $3 million, is called “Innovation”.
It emphasizes research and vital equipment like a $1,075,000 automated chemistry line that analyzes blood samples — and will replace a unit that’s over 20 years old. Increased automation will reduce potential errors and improve security.
Test volumes have doubled since the installation of existing equipment.
Dr Jill Kelly, medical officer for the emergency department at the Royal Jubilee Hospital, said the campaign was having a big impact.
“Our hospitals are strong, but it’s thanks to the continued support of the community, and that really makes a difference in terms of our ability to help us get the equipment we need to be able to provide the care,” said she declared. “It’s also a great way for us to see the community that supports us in what we do.
“All of these pieces make a difference every time they arrive.”
She said much of the equipment has been in use “for a long, long time” and is becoming obsolete or just starting to break down from wear and tear.
Brohman said campaign supporters are key to meeting the needs, with 40 per cent of equipment at the Royal Jubilee Hospital and Victoria General Hospital being funded by donors.
“We can’t do this work without them, and we would like more of them to come and join our mission because it is so crucial.”
The foundation has earned over $15 million in revenue in 2020-21 from approximately 5,200 donors. It has raised more than $163 million since 1989 to help hospitals.
To donate to Emerge Stronger, go to the foundation’s website at victoriahf.ca or call 250-519-1750.