Wasn't that a party?

Community event raises critical funds for the fight against cancer.


WHEN LONG TIME Edmonton Journal columnist, Nick Lees, made the decision to help people living with gastrointestinal (GI) disease, including colon cancer, he did it the way he knows best — by calling his closest friends and throwing a party. Third party or community-based events, like Nick Lees’ party, are a way individuals and communities come together to support the University Hospital Foundation’s (UHF) vision to transform and redefine health in Alberta and around the world.

“I was nearing my 80th birthday and my mother would hang her head in shame if I did nothing to help others in our community,” says Lees. When Lees and his friends gathered to plan the event, they quickly discovered that “there wasn’t one person at the table who hadn’t lost a family member or good friend to cancer. We decided we were going to help save lives.”

The University of Alberta Hospital (UAH) is the referral centre for a multitude of areas of care including prostate and urology, gastroenterology, and research and innovation. The UAH supports diagnostics and treatment for surrounding clinics and care facilities, making the impact of this fundraising significant for healthcare teams and patients of all areas who rely on the UAH.

Attended by the likes of Her Honour Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, Salma Lakhani, and her husband, His Honour Dr. Zaheer Lakhani, the community-based fundraising event raised a significant amount in support of the purchase of a new state-of-the-art double balloon enteroscope for UAH’s Allan H. Owen Endoscopic Suite — a piece of equipment used to examine the inside of a patient’s small bowel for more accurate and less invasive diagnosis.

“People with debilitating GI conditions often suffer in silence,” says Dr. Jodi Abbott, President and CEO of the UHF. “To make matters even worse, some GI conditions are hard to treat because they are next to impossible to diagnose without exploratory surgery.

“The new double-balloon enteroscope will help doctors detect colon cancer and other disorders such as celiac and Crohn’s disease.” Dr. Brendan Halloran, Gastroenterologist at UAH, expressed immense gratitude to Lees and his friends for their overwhelming generosity. “Getting the funds to replace and upgrade our technology is a game changer for the program. I want to thank Nick and everyone else who worked so hard to make the event a success. It was an amazing show of generosity and caring.”

Every third-party event makes an impact — whether that be a birthday party fundraiser, company golf tournament, small auction or bake sale. To learn more about planning a third-party event in support of the UHF, please visit GivetoUHF.ca.

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