Monthly Donor Cameron’s Story: I Come From a Family That Views Giving as Part of the Deal

Cameron’s family has been in Victoria for over 50 years. His two brothers, sister, and father all live within a five-minute walk or drive of each other. After completing his undergraduate degree at UBC, he moved east to pursue post-secondary education, eventually settling in Toronto. He married and raised a family, living there for over 30 years before he returned to Victoria with his wife Heather, in 2011.

“We’re a close-knit family, and tight with our family connections,” says Cameron. “We’ve also forged a lot of great friendships in this community—plus my wife is an accomplished jazz singer and performs around town, so we are pretty busy.”

Cameron also enjoys playing golf at the Victoria Golf Club, which he says provides a great sense of community, and there are interesting members from all over Canada and the world.

But in 2017, Cameron experienced a life-altering event. He was driving a car across Canada for his daughter in Toronto when he suffered a stroke in Brandon, Manitoba.

After five days in the hospital there, he returned to Victoria, where he was referred to the Outpatient Neuro Rehabilitation program at Victoria General Hospital.

Cameron spent months regaining his strength and balance, driven by a number of goals. He wanted to get his driver’s license back, which had been revoked, and he wanted to be able to climb the stairs of his home. He also hoped to take a long-planned golf trip in 2018, and attend his daughter’s wedding.

“I was fortunate to have terrific physiotherapists and other professionals dealing with me,” says Cameron. “That made a big difference in terms of my recovery. I’m over ninety percent recovered because of the springboard that I got from the program. Everything I did later to recover stems from that solid base. Now I’m feeling back on track.”

With the help of the rehabilitative care he received, Cameron was able to reach almost all of his goals. And, five years later, he’s back to playing several rounds of golf each week, cooking up a storm, and he feels safe and comfortable travelling again.

“I’ve been very lucky. I’ve seen other people have strokes, and I know just how devastating it can be. I was fortunate to get into a rehab program that provided me with a solid base for improvement in the years following.”

Cameron’s stroke came on the heels of an earlier diagnosis of bladder cancer in 2012/13, for which he underwent treatment, receiving care at both Royal Jubilee and Victoria General hospitals.

“You could say I’ve been a frequent flyer in our local healthcare system,” says Cameron. “Whenever I’ve had medical procedures performed in the hospital, I’ve found the medical staff to be very professional. They were always friendly and efficient.”

Cameron, who was already a donor to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation, made the decision to become a monthly donor after his stroke rehabilitation experience in 2018.

He says part of his reason for giving was motivated by learning how donations from community members allow priority hospital equipment to be purchased faster—and updated more frequently—than through government funding alone.

“If we want to have good hospital systems with the most advanced tools in our communities, I think it’s important for people in those communities to step up,” says Cameron. “I come from a family that views giving as part of the deal. Anything we can do in our community to help provide better and more advanced healthcare opportunities is a good thing.”

Our monthly donors know that everyone has a connection to our hospitals. Like you, if they haven’t received care themselves, they know someone who has.  And, whether they donate $10, $25, or $100 each month, their commitment creates a legacy that transforms the very care Vancouver Islanders and their families depend on—care that any of us could need at any time. 

Today, will you help advance care for your own family by joining ours?