LHSC receives anonymous $2M donation for hematology program

File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / Eugene_Sim

An anonymous donor has given the London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) $2 million to enhance its hematology program.

The Health Sciences Foundation, the fundraising arm of the hospital network, announced the multi-million dollar donation on Wednesday. While the name of the donor is not being made public, the foundation said the unknown individual was inspired to give to the program after witnessing a family member’s battle with multiple myeloma, a cancer that forms in a plasma cell.

“Our family was generally uninformed of the serious issues related to multiple myeloma until it struck a family member,” the donor said in a statement. “We couldn’t be more pleased to be able to assist our wonderful London medical community with this donation that will help keep LHSC at the forefront of hematology research and patient care in Canada.”

The money will be used to purchase new equipment, fund research, and create a new staff position. Specifically, a mass spectrometer will be purchased for the program. The device detects proteins in the blood mitigating the need for bone marrow procedures every six months and allows for the adjustment of patient treatment and care based on biomarkers. A clinical research coordinator and physician extender will be hired for the program and a pilot study will be conducted using the funds. The study will examine the feasibility, effectiveness, and safety of “an intermediate care model among patients that are in the survivorship space from hematologic malignancies while also looking at the impact of an intermediate care model in regards to global health care utilization, clinical efficiency and quality of life for patients,” the foundation noted.

Dr. Chai Phua, Victoria Hospital hematologist. Photo courtesy of the London Health Sciences Foundation.

Dr. Chai Phua, Victoria Hospital hematologist. Photo courtesy of the London Health Sciences Foundation.

“We are tremendously grateful for this transformational gift,” said Dr. Chai Phua, a hematologist at Victoria Hospital. “It will also support advanced cancer care technology to enable future innovation and discovery, keeping LHSC on the cutting edge of multiple myeloma research, ultimately improving long-term outcomes for our patients.”

Multiple myeloma is a relatively unknown cancer, despite the fact nearly ten Canadians are diagnosed with it each day, the foundation said.