Stan the Man
Leaving a Lasting Legacy
Cathy Housdorff wanted to say thank you to the doctors and healthcare teams at the University of Alberta Hospital who worked so hard to save her vision.
And to leave a legacy on behalf of her dad – Stan the Man – whose big laugh and love of life touches her every day, despite his passing due to Lewy Body Dementia in December, 2020.
With a gift in her will in honour of her father to the University Hospital Foundation, Cathy has helped to ensure that ground-breaking research that may one day reverse memory loss in people living with Alzheimer’s will continue, and that her father will never be forgotten.
“The last time I talked to my dad was over the phone, because of COVID. It was excruciating,” says Cathy. “Leaving a gift in my will made me feel good at a time when I really wasn’t doing that well.”
If that wasn’t enough, Cathy had significant health issues of her own to deal with – in January, 2013, doctors found a benign tumour growing on her pituitary gland. “It was affecting my vision. I thought my eyes were aging, that I couldn’t work 16 hours a day anymore.”
Her first of two brain surgeries to remove the tumour took place in June of that same year. Six years later, after doctors detected that the tumour was growing again. Cathy had her second surgery in March, 2019, followed by non-invasive Gamma Knife radiosurgery in September.
“The Gamma Knife was amazing,” she says. “I had the procedure on Wednesday. Back to work Monday. Outpatient brain surgery. Incredible.”
“The gift in my will is for Dad. He deserves to be honoured that way. And it’s for me, to give back to the people who worked so hard to keep me well.”
“I just thought, ‘What can I do through my lifetime of hard work to say thank you?’”