Radiothon raised 150K for hospital’s journey room

Over 800 pledges made to help the cause

Daily life for cancer patients and the treatment of the disease can be difficult depending on individual circumstances.

At the South Shore Regional Hospital, the surrounding community is trying to make these people and their families a little more comfortable.

A radiothon organized by the Health Services Foundation and hosted by Country 100.7 and CKBW on February 13 raised $150,000 from over 800 pledges towards a journey room for the hospital.

“It was a great day with people calling in because people see the value of this room,” said Bernadette Jordan, the development officer for the Health Services Foundation of the South Shore.

“Everybody has been touched somewhat by cancer, whether it’s themselves or a loved one, and so a lot of people really felt the need to get behind this fundraising effort.”

A journey room is a cancer patient resource room.

“It’s basically a place where they can go and they can have a quiet space. It will have music. They could have a massage. They can have wig fittings or have their wigs styled,” said Ms Jordan.

The space will be a place where the cancer patient navigator can answer questions from patients or their family members about the diagnosis, treatment or next steps.

Complementary therapy, including acupuncture or therapeutic touch, may also be offered. All these details are still under consideration as raising $165,000 to build the room was the foundation’s first goal.

“Once the money is raised, there is a committee put together that will figure out what services will be offered, how they’re going to run it all, and how the volunteers are going to be structured,” said Ms Jordan.

The $165,000 will construct the room in the chemotherapy area of the oncology department on the hospital’s third floor. Walls will be knocked out and wiring and ventilation systems will be rearranged.

The room will be furnished like a living room.

“It looks after the whole patient – the emotional well-being as well,” said Ms Jordan.

This was the fifth year of the radiothon, which always raises funds for something needed in the hospital. Past efforts have purchased an echocardiogram, a digital mobile X-ray unit, ventilators and heart monitors.

“Last year we raised $103,000, so we thought we’d stretch and see if we could raise $107,000,” said Ms Jordan.

It turned out to be a record year.

The remaining $15,000 will be contributed from other events organized by community groups such as the Lion’s Club and high school students, including a variety show, a dinner and a fashion show.

“We will hit the $165,000 no problem,” said Ms Jordan.

This will be the fourth room of its kind in the province, the others being in Halifax, Truro and Yarmouth.

“We had a number of patients who came on air who said that they used the Sunshine Room in Halifax, and that’s one of the reasons they wanted to support it, said Ms Jordan.

“They knew how important it was to them and their family while they were going through their treatments.”

This project does not have a timeline yet.

As originally published in LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin

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