A large donation to the financial campaign to build an expanded Cape Breton Cancer Centre stems from the personal experiences of two local residents who know the value of having treatments at home.
A group of retired Sobeys and Foodland employees from across Nova Scotia have donated $10,300 donation to the centre building fund.
The donation was inspired by former Foodland Sydney Mines owners, Ellen and Roddie MacKenzie, who both were diagnosed with cancer and treated at the facility at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital in Sydney.
Ellen was diagnosed with cancer in January of 2018 and Roddie in 2011. Both are now cancer free.
The couple owed the Sydney Mines grocery outlet until last year when their daughter Ashley and son-in-law Kyle took over ownership.
“When we had the opportunity to choose a charity, there wasn’t any question that we wanted the funds to go to the new cancer centre,” said Ellen MacKenzie.
“Having all of my cancer care at home, with my granddaughter, daughter and husband by my side — that’s how I overcame my battle,” she said.
The donation comes as part of the 2019 fundraising efforts of the Sobeys Nova Scotia Quarter Century Alumni and matching funds that were donated by Sobeys Inc.
“It’s incredible that this group saw Ellen and Roddie’s story and chose to help make an impact,” said regional hospital foundation CEO, Brad Jacobs.
“Our current cancer centre, built in 1995, was designed for 16,000 patient visits per year, but we are seeing upwards of 45,000 patient visits every year. More than 150 patients walk through the doors each day for everything from chemotherapy and radiation therapy, to consultations with social workers and more,” he said.
The foundation recently launched a multi-year, multi-million dollar campaign to help build an expanded facility to better serve cancer patients from across the island.
“This was an easy donation to make and we’re proud to be a part of providing cancer care for future generations in Cape Breton,” said Darlene Rozicki, Sobeys alumni committee member.
Since 1990, the foundation, in partnership with the community, has raised more than $50 million to purchase equipment, and fund upgrades at the regional hospital.