The Naomi Mather Endowment Fund Helps Young Cancer Patients Thrive
Young adults undergoing cancer treatment may face a number of challenges, both physical and emotional. That’s why a holistic approach to care that addresses the person as a whole, including physical, mental, and emotional well-being, is an important part of cancer care at Grand River Regional Cancer Centre. As a part of this patient-centred approach, the Naomi Mather Endowment Fund provides financial aid to support the quality of life for young adult cancer patients during treatment.
A graduate of Waterloo Collegiate Institute, Naomi Mather’s determined character shone from a young age and developed throughout her life. Some of her favourite activities included performing with the Strathyre Highland Dancers, volunteering with Children’s International Summer Villages, life-guarding, swimming and playing piano.
Naomi was enrolled in science studies at Queen's University when she became sick and was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a type of bone and soft tissue cancer that most commonly affects children and young adults. Her indomitable spirit sustained all those around her as she underwent cancer treatment at Mount Sinai Hospital and Grand River Hospital. Naomi passed away on July 21, 2003 at the age of 20.
In 2008 Naomi’s family established the Naomi Mather Endowment Fund in her memory as a way to help other young adults in a similar situation. This careship fund provides grants of up to $1,000 per year for patients under the age of 30 who are undergoing treatment at Grand River Regional Cancer Centre to support their quality of life. Patients can use the grant to participate in enjoyable recreational activities, support their mental health and emotional wellness, or reduce the financial burden of receiving care; this includes things like sports and concert tickets, computer games and music downloads, transportation to medical programs or appointments, mental health support programs, monthly cell phone bills, spa treatments, a visit to a hair salon or a meal at a restaurant.
Naomi’s family established this fund because they recognize, “how difficult it is for young cancer patients to lose their independence and become totally reliant on their family again,” with the hopes that it can be used, “for small pleasures and entertainment, [knowing] that for many families, a cancer diagnosis brings financial hardship.”
If you would like to support young cancer patients through the Naomi Mather Endowment Fund, please visit the link below to make a donation. Patients of the Cancer Centre can learn more or access financial support from this fund by speaking with their social worker—a nurse or doctor can refer you for social work services if you are not already receiving them.