Honouring a Legacy of Love and Family
by Supporting Victoria Hospitals
As an only child, Gayle grew up in Esquimalt, and has many beautiful memories of her childhood there. Her father, Bill, was a Stationary Engineer who worked in the nearby Dockyard and later at the Colwood DND facility, and her mother, Grace, worked as a milner making hats at the old Miss Frith Store on Douglas Street, and later became a homemaker when she married Bill in 1948.
Her parents loved adventure and travel. At just four years old, Gayle would join her parents on annual trips, exploring the local west coast of Canada and the USA. The Oregon Coast and Disneyland were favourite trips.
In particular, Gayle has many happy memories at Saxe Point, where she and her friends would ride their bikes, and build forts and at Fleming Beach where they would build rafts, swim and play on the beach. “Saxe Point was also one of my parents’ favourite spots when they got older,” says Gayle. “They would walk down and sit on a certain bench, and that bench is still there today.”
Gayle remained close with her parents throughout adulthood, often travelling with them on cruises with her husband at the time, through the years. Her parents never left her childhood home—until their health started to decline.
When Gayle’s mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, she started to experience frequent falls. After one fall, she hit her head and was admitted to Royal Jubilee Hospital. She was 91 years old. Gayle’s father, who was 87, then made the difficult decision to place her mother in long-term care at Gorge Road Hospital—where he visited her every day. They were married for 67 years when she passed in October 2015.
“The caregivers did a great job with all their patients, and my mother received really good care,” recalls Gayle. “I remember one fellow would always come out and say to my mother ‘Hi Grace!’ and he would do a little dance around. He made her smile and laugh.”
Just five months after her mother’s passing, Gayle noticed some concerning symptoms in her father, including loss of coordination and forgetfulness. Soon after, he was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer at Royal Jubilee Hospital.
“Two weeks later, the doctor called and said he likely wouldn’t last the day,” says Gayle. “I went to the hospital and sat with him for an hour and a half. I kissed him on the forehead and told him I loved him, and then I left. When I got down to the parking lot, they called to tell me he had passed.”
Gayle wanted to find a way to honour the care her parents received, and made the decision to leave a gift to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation in her will as a tribute to the life they shared together.
“I really appreciated the care my parents received, and it’s a ‘giving forward’ decision—because, one day, it could be me in there,” says Gayle. “I don’t have children of my own, so I thought, why not leave a legacy?”
Today, Gayle still makes time to visit Saxe Point, taking walks down to Fleming Beach, and visiting her parents’ favorite bench, which helps her feel close to them.
“It makes me feel good to know I’m helping other people, and I think my parents would be really happy to know I’m doing this,” she says. “There are so many different charities out there, but this is one of the best ones to support because it touches so many peoples’ lives. I encourage others to join me in honouring care teams and supporting our hospitals.”
By leaving a gift to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation in your will, you can make a bigger contribution than you ever thought possible to support our local caregivers and provide them with the tools they need to care for Vancouver Island patients.
Donating to our hospitals in the form of a bequest is one of the greatest acts of generosity a donor can make. Legacy gifts fund one-third of our equipment purchases in our hospitals each year, benefiting the lives of thousands of people.
Regardless of the size of your estate, you can be a part of this powerful movement for change. Learn more about the legacy you can create.
Will Power: A Powerful Way to Help Our Hospitals
In the pursuit of advancing healthcare on Vancouver Island, the Victoria Hospitals Foundation has partnered with Will Power, a national movement to educate Canadians about the power they have to make a difference through their wills.
Will Power is designed to inspire more Canadians to make a significant impact on the causes they care about.
General, residual, designated sample clauses for you to include and adapt as you see fit.
Calculate your potential gift based on the value of your property and total liabilities/debt.