Donor Spotlight

Alexandra MacDonald

Breast Screening Centre a lesson in hope and Love

I went to the Breast Screening Centre at Stratford General for a routine mammogram in January of 2011. When the clinic called a few days later and asked me to come back, the worry took hold.

I can't recall the exact sequence of events, but I remember the biopsy,  and I remember, despite my best efforts, the tears running down my  cheeks. What I now remember most though, aside from Dr. Lynda Harker’s upbeat smile and cheerful manner, was Deb Moon-a woman whose sole purpose was to comfort scared patients like me. She held my hands throughout the procedure, and told me repeatedly, that I  was not going to die from breast cancer. If there are angels on this earth, surely she is one of them.

When my family physician, Dr. Moore called a few days later to deliver the grim news, I sat in our kitchen and cried my eyes out.   After weeks of anguished waiting, we met with the surgeon. My case was relatively straight forward. The tumor was small, it was caught early, and they felt that with surgery and treatment I would be fine.

I had a lumpectomy in February and started a month of radiation shortly after that. I didn't need chemo, which oddly had less significance than I thought it would. Hair or not, I was glad to be alive.

Of the many ways in which this experience change my life, perhaps the biggest was realizing the importance of kindness and caring. From the pink gowns in the Breast Screening Centre to the mirrors with inspirational comments in the change rooms, to the incredibly warm, confident and considerate attitudes of the staff…they make a frightening, often lonely experience a lesson in hope and love.

Posted Monday, October 5 2015


Watch Donor Videos:

First Gong Strike Sept. 5 2014

Gong strikes a positive note for patient experiences

WATCH VIDEO NOW


More Donor Stories...

Cathy Bachner: In December 2012, I contracted the life-threatening necrotizing fasciitis infection commonly known as the flesh-eating disease. Throughout the next two years, I have been blessed to live in a place where I was surrounded by excellent medical care. I use the word "care" with meaning. My medicalREAD MORE 

The Duits Family: In a corner of the MRI waiting room attached to the Donor Wall hangs a plaque "In memory of Fisher Hendrikus Duits."  It's a touching reminder of the brief but precious life of baby Fisher, the family that loved and remembers him, and the generosity that flowed from his tragic loss.READ MORE 

Dan & Brenda Bannon: The first symbolic striking of the gong by Dr. Laurel Moore marked the introduction of a large 4½ foot high “Healthcare Milestone” celebration gong which gives patients, their families and hospital staff an opportunity to tangibly celebrate their milestones. “It is with greatREAD MORE 

Brent Hiller: When people support the Foundation, they know the money is going to the right place for the right reasons and with minimal expense says Brent Hiller, a recent addition to the Stratford General Hospital Foundation Board and the "next generation" of Hillers to step up to the tee. The HillerREAD MORE 

Mary McTavish: It was in the winter when my back pain suddenly went worse, shooting down my leg, even causing numbness in my foot. Neither X-rays nor the CT Scan showed the cause.  My doctor felt an MRI might be helpful. The wait was short-only two weeks, and the staff were very competent. I really felt I wasREAD MORE 

Rick Orr: "If there's one thing that touches everyone in the community at some point, it's healthcare," says Rick Orr, Stratford General Hospital's Board Chairman. "It's changing rapidly and we need to keep up with the current technology in order to recruit the physicians we need.READ MORE 

CLICK FOR MORE DONOR STORIES