Okanagan couple makes generous donation to BC Cancer Foundation

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Okanagan cancer survivors make generous donation
The Okanagan is set to provide world-class cancer treatment thanks to help from an Okanagan couple's generous donation. Sydney Morton sat down with the Fitzpatricks to discuss what motivated them to make the monumental donation. – May 22, 2024

Linda and Ross Fitzpatrick have shared their lives together for 42 years, unfortunately, one of their shared experiences over their decades-long marriage is a cancer diagnosis.

“I was diagnosed first in 2018 with breast cancer and underwent a lumpectomy and then I had 28-days radiation here in Kelowna, which was terrific because I was able to go there every day and come home,” said Linda.

“Subsequently, I was diagnosed again in 2022 and that resulted in surgery and reconstructions and again BC Cancer has taken on my case.”

Ross was diagnosed in 2013 with prostate cancer.

“I received brachytherapy,” said Ross. “I can’t say enough about the treatment that I received at the cancer centre.”

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Ross is a former senator whose family has deep roots in the Okanagan. Now, Ross and Linda are broadening their reach as they donate $725,000 to the BC Cancer Foundation in Kelowna.

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“Whatever we can help to prevent it and stamp it out, that’s our desire and that’s our goal,” said Ross.

One of the couple’s inspirations to donate was seeing the impact other donors have had.

“It was a former donor who contributed the money to establish brachytherapy here in Kelowna and hopefully, our donations, and donations from others, will help the movement going forward,” said Linda.

Many members of the couple’s family have been touched by cancer, including their daughter.

The generous donation completes the campaign to raise 6.1 million dollars for a new treatment suite at Kelowna’s BC Cancer Centre.

“A brand new state-of-the-art systemic therapy suite which will one, increase BC Cancer’s capacity by over 40 per cent to deliver this chemotherapy treatment but also bring in phase one clinical trials,” said Pardeep Khrod,  BC Cancer Foundation associate vice president.

“When you are able to bring those phase one clinical trials in it gives the opportunity to BC Cancer clinicians to also partake in drug development and bring in drug development.”

This means the Okanagan will have a 10,000-square-foot suite that offers world-class treatments to patients.

Khrod says construction is expected to begin this fall and be completed in between 18 to 24 months. Revolutionizing cancer care in the Okanagan.


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