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What Are You Grateful For?

Darlene Pellarin knows exactly what she is grateful for and it begins with family, friends and her oncology team at Sault Area Hospital.

After working for Community First Credit Union for 30 years, Darlene was happily retired. She suddenly became unwell visiting her only sibling Dennis in Florida. Being diagnosed with cancer can be the most terrifying news you can hear followed by a whirlwind of diagnostic tests, surgery and chemotherapy treatment. Receiving this information was no different for Darlene as she remarks that “at some point during your care and as terrified as you may be, you have to give yourself up to your physician, and trust into the care you are going to receive. This is very hard to do when you are independent and strong-willed but every member of the Oncology team at Sault Area Hospital was phenomenal”. She felt very fortunate to have met such an incredible team of individuals who are so passionate about the work they do. They provide truly exceptional care to their patients.

Darlene with one of the caregivers that was by her side every step of the way.

It was important for Darlene to say “thank you” for that level of care and dedication. One morning while on her routine checkup, she noticed a brochure on one of the waiting room tables appropriately entitled “Grateful Patient Program”. She thought to herself “this is exactly who I am – a grateful patient”.

Upon reading through the brochure, she immediately knew what she wanted to do. “The Sault Area Hospital Foundation made everything so simple and stress-free. I was so comforted knowing my gift was a meaningful way, to not only say thanks, but also help future patients of the cancer program.”

Darlene made a gift to the SAHF through the Grateful Patient Program honouring not only her caregivers at the Algoma Regional Cancer Program; but her brother who accepting the role of being her confidante and emotional burden through the whole process; her cousins who although live away, were so supportive and willing to help at any turn; and her four girlfriends who assisted to her every need during her treatment. She would never have got through her treatment period without their love, kindness and encouragement.

As part of her donation, all these special caregivers received a thank you card expressing Darlene’s gratitude and appreciation while her donation is allocated to the Cancer Care Fund towards the purchase of medical equipment for the program.

Sault Area Hospital Foundation's Grateful Patient Program provides patients with an opportunity to show gratitude to the physician, nurse or other caregiver who played a special role in their care while helping to support the mission of Sault Area Hospital.

Your donation will not only be a way to say thank you and acknowledge the difference that a caregiver made, but it will help ensure that future patients continue to receive the high level of care you experienced during your time at our Hospital.

“Tough times don’t last, but tough people do, and I will get through this” has been Darlene’s mantra - empowering her mind with strength and optimism.




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