I donate to my hospital through the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation because I wanted to try to improve the hospitalization experience for the kids in our own community. It’s rewarding to see some of the toys and games and equipment that the kids were enjoying knowing that the time spent in the hospital could be a little more fun and not so scary and dull. I would ask others to go see the children’s unit and talk to the nurses and staff and see how under-funded the system is and how little things that they could donate might make a child’s stay at the hospital more comfortable. I’m proud to say I help in a small way to help the kids in our community and will tell anyone that asks to do the same. I have not stopped in 17 years and never will.
RE/MAX Little Oak Realty
Raj K. had been a nurse for more than 20 years, with a career spent caring for psychiatric patients. Last year, the 47-year-old Mission resident was diagnosed with cancer. For the first time, he found himself on the other side of the bed. His patient experience gave him a whole new outlook on his profession.
“You don’t go to nursing school thinking you are going to become a patient,” Raj said. “I just didn’t think it was going to happen to me.”
But when Raj visited his family doctor last December in pain, his physician Dr. Alex Marazzi suspected testicular cancer. Raj was stunned. “I was at a loss for words,” he said. He immediately thought of his wife and 16-year-old daughter. “You feel like you have an obligation to your family to be around. But it made me realize my mortality.”
His doctor moved swiftly. His support staff booked Raj into an ultrasound in two days. He was on the operating table by January, in the skillful hands of urologist Dr. George Vrabec. The biopsy came back positive. The cancer had spread to his lymphatic system.
Lorie Marchinkow considers volunteerism an important aspect of contributing to the community. He believes the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation depends on the broad skills of volunteers and thinks people should contribute their skill-sets. “I’m on a mission, though somewhat self-serving you can say: to make sure our community here and in the areas surrounding Abbotsford have the latest and greatest technology for diagnosing our public’s medical conditions. So if I can, I go to bat for our community. This is an indirect way to afford more hours and do these fun things with the Foundation, and it’s neat to get my kids to give back. If you involve them early, you usually involve them when they are adults.”
Supervisor for General-Interventional Radiology at Abbotsford Regional Hospital.