Celebrating #NationalVolunteerWeek April 19-25, 2020

Over the last 35 years the Festival of Trees has become Edmonton’s premiere Christmas event that welcomes tens of thousands of visitors each year and has raised over $22 million for the University Hospital Foundation. None of this would have been possible without the dedicated and passionate committee volunteers who work year-round to plan and coordinate the event.

 

“On behalf of the University Hospital Foundation staff and Board of Directors, I want to thank all of our Festival of Trees committee volunteers. We are grateful for their ongoing commitment and support,” said Dr. Jodi L. Abbott, President & CEO of the University Hospital Foundation. “This National Volunteer Week, we want to recognize the large contributions they make to the University Hospital Foundation and the University of Alberta Hospital.”

 

Because of their support, every area of care at the University of Alberta Hospital has been impacted, from heart care at the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute, to brain care with the Stroke Ambulance, from trauma and emergency care to transplants.

 

This year, the Festival of Trees raised $1.875 million for the University Hospital Foundation, in support of bringing Osseointegration to the University of Alberta Hospital.

2019 Festival of Trees Steering Committee
2019 Festival of Trees Steering Committee

 

Osseointegration is the most advanced procedure in the world for attaching prosthetic limbs, and because of the Festival of Trees, Edmonton is the first place in Western Canada to offer the procedure, and we’re already seeing the impact it will have on people living with lower limb amputations.

 

The first Osseointegration surgery at the University of Alberta Hospital occurred this February. Angelena Dolezar’s life is already changing since her surgery with Dr. Robert Stiegelmar.

 

She is just over eight weeks into her recovery, and she is already wearing her new prosthesis outside of physio hours, between four to six hours per day. She is still in her rehabilitation journey, but is so happy to finally be home, and already notices differences from her old prosthesis. It’s just a quick 30 seconds now to remove or put it on, and she doesn’t have to worry about adjustments, constant pain and sweating, or having it fall off in the middle of an activity.

 

“I am thankful to have my health and to be the first candidate in the Osseointegration clinical trial at the University of Alberta Hospital. I know my surgery was only possible because of generous donors to Festival of Trees and the amazing volunteers who made sure the event was a success,” says Angelena. “Thank you! Without you, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I am so excited for my ongoing rehabilitation with Dr. Jacqueline Hebert as I continue to build up my strength and adjust to my new life. For now I’m taking it all one day at a time.”

 

The University Hospital Foundation echoes Angelena’s thanks. We are so lucky to be able to work with the skilled and enthusiastic volunteers on our Festival of Trees committees. We cannot thank you enough for all the time and effort you dedicate each year to this event, and how you impact healthcare in Alberta, Western Canada and beyond.

 

We look forward to working with you all again and together continuing to make an impact on healthcare at the University of Alberta Hospital.

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