Two True Champions

Two True Champions

Two True Champions

Catherine and Don Landry’s experience of the expert care, compassion and kindness at Grand River Hospital were why they loved being involved with the hospital, and wanted to make a bequest.

Their kids were born there (that… was a long time ago, and it was a much smaller hospital in those olden days).

Catherine and Don became intimately familiar with Grand River Hospital back in October 1979, when their son, Ian, then 17, was diagnosed with Leukemia. He spent four months in isolation (5D18 was the room number) in the excellent care of the hospital staff. He did eventually go into remission, but shortly fell out of that. He died on September 1st, 1980. Our family will always be grateful for the care he received, and the kindness we felt whenever we were visiting. Catherine and Don (and I) will never forget his nurse, Shirley, an absolute angel.

After Ian died, my mother was searching for a sense of purpose. She found some of her purpose when she began volunteering at the Hospital in 1985. In time, she became a member of the volunteer committee, and also managed the committee’s finances. She watched every penny like a hawk, and wanted to ensure all funds devoted to the volunteer committee were being used in the most meaningful ways possible. 

She volunteered for 31 years.

In the words of Owen Roszell, Supervisor, Volunteer Resources:

Catherine got things started at Grand River Hospital in 1985, and gave her time to Grand River for the next 31 years. In 2004 Don joined too, and he contributed for about 12 years. Don had 1,865 hours of service – about the same as a year of full time work, and Catherine had contributed about 1,300 hours.  They both were an outstanding example of engaged, involved community members. Don – always ready to help, a little mischievous, and what a sense of humor.  Catherine brought the elegance and intellect that always seemed to elevate everyone around her, as well as a keen understanding of the state of the world.  What can I say about the lemon squares?

(Mom often took her baked goods in, to the delight of volunteers!)

My mother fell ill in August of 2019. She was cared for at the 5th Floor Medicine Unit for five weeks. She was grateful for the care, expertise and kindness at Grand River Hospital and felt they did everything possible to help her. In September 2019, she was transferred to the Freeport Palliative Care unit where she spent her final peaceful days in comfort.

My father’s final days were also at Freeport, where he died in March of 2019. Freeport’s care and compassion are wonderful.

My family and I can’t begin to express the deep gratitude we feel for Grand River Hospital, and what everyone did for my brother Ian, and my Mom and Dad.

Written by Eric Landry