Tag Archives: PMH

HO HO HOspital Holiday Party

Princess Margaret Hospital threw a holiday party for kids with cancer and kids with parents who have cancer.  There were crafts and face-painting, carol singing, kid-friendly food and of course an appearance by the Man Himself.  All the kids seemed to have a fantastic time — and meeting Santa was a big deal for Georgia; like meeting a rock star who owns flying reindeer.  What a nice thing to do for families dealing with cancer.  Here are some pictures of the happy day:

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Fast Forwarding the Wait: Gattuso Rapid Diagnostic Centre

A few weeks ago, Georgia and my mom and I all participated in a commercial for a fundraising campaign for the Gattuso Rapid Diagnostic Centre at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto.  


We had fun doing it and I’m a big supporter of the whole idea behind the Rapid Diagnostic Centre — that being to cut down the wait time between testing and diagnosis to one day.  Yes, just one.  Not the several agonizing weeks it usually takes.  Imagine taking that excruciating time-warped endless agony of wondering if you have cancer and smacking it right down to size?  Waiting for results is like your standard what’s-behind-the-door horror film scene: no matter what’s hiding behind that door, the scariest part is the eerie music and the slow, creeping, spine-tingling approach to the unknown evil lurking in the dark. I always have to fast-forward through those scenes. And basically that’s what the Gattuso Center will do for that slow, creeping, terrifying approach to the great unknown of a cancer diagnosis.

Of course it won’t always be good news behind that door. But, like in the movies, at least once you’ve seen the monster, you can start figuring out how to destroy it.

You can view the commercial here (at http://www.pmhf.ca/)


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PMH Rapid Diagnosis Program

Remember when you went for tests and it became clear the doctor thought your lump wasn’t just a “lump” but a “LUMP”?  Remember how agonizing it was waiting for those results?  Remember how much worse it was when they confirmed that you had breast cancer?  And then, even more harrowing, the wait to find out what would be done, and when?


Total [insert expletive here] nightmare.


Well, yesterday it was announced that the Princess Margaret Hospital’s Breast Cancer Rapid Diagnosis program just received a big private donation to speed the whole testing, diagnostic and treatment planning process – to ONE DAY.


This is amazing news – as anyone who has lived through the nightmare of waiting, and then more waiting, knows.


The donaors are Allan Slaight (who was once my dad’s boss) and his partner Emannuelle Gattuso – a breast cancer survivor.  The program has been in beta since 2006, with a fund that was originally seeded by the Weekend to End Breast Cancer.  


A big thank-you Mr. Slaight and Ms. Gattuso, from all those of us who have endured the torture of waiting, and on behalf of all those who won’t have to.

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Magic Day

When I have to go to hospital – which is every three weeks plus another day here and there – I go to Mount Sinai or Princess Margaret Hospital, and these days I take my daughter with me. 


This is thanks to an amazing daycare at PMH called The Magic Castle. It’s available to parents who are undergoing cancer treatment at the University Health Network hospitals in the area. Georgia loves the Magic Castle with an over-the-top toddleresque fervor – and I credit the amazing team of child-minders led by Eleanor Szakacs, who pioneered the program. 


It takes the sting out of hospital days for me, knowing that Georgia is coming along and that while I’m having tests or treatment, she’s having a blast.  Afterwards we sometimes go for lunch or to a park, or just head home for a nap.  Here’s what our day together looked like today:






 I tried to poke around the web to see if they have a similar program at Sunnybrook but didn’t find anything.  If anyone knows of child care programs at their hospitals please post a comment to let others know!



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