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$10 million naming gift to regional cancer center from David and Catherine Hudson
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$10 million naming gift to regional cancer center from David and Catherine Hudson

A couple who lost a loved one to cancer are honouring their loved one in a big way, with a record-setting donation to the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre to expand the local cancer centre.

Catherine and David Hudson have pledged a record-setting $10 million to Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre’s Keep Life Wild campaign.

Health officials say the landmark donation is the largest in the health centre’s history and is the largest gift to any hospital in the history of Simcoe Muskoka.

The gift is in honour of David Hudson’s late sister Lara, who died from a rare form of breast cancer at age 35.

“It’s about recognizing that as this region doubles in size, we need to ensure that RVH and the services it provides meet that growth. For everyone who has the ability to give, now is the time,” David Hudson said.

The couple hopes their commitment will inspire others to support the hospital’s larger expansion efforts.

“Those who love Simcoe Muskoka, as we do, should realize that, together, we all need to ensure world-class care is in place here,” Catherine Hudson said.

In recognition of the family’s extraordinary generosity, the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Centre will be renamed the David and Catherine Hudson Regional Cancer Centre.

“The people of Simcoe Muskoka will be forever grateful to the Hudsons. This extraordinary gift is the lynchpin in our plan to revolutionize cancer care right here in our own backyard,” said RVH President and CEO Gail Hunt.

“In our expanded cancer program, we will offer the very best in personalized, precise, and minimally invasive treatments delivered by highly trained specialists using the most advanced technology. This means our friends, neighbours and loved ones will be treated sooner, return home sooner, recover sooner, and get back to the life they love sooner.”

The Keep Life Wild campaign campaign, which has a $100-million goal to enhance and expand regional services, was launched in late 2022.

Part of the expansion includes plans to build a brand-new facility in Innisfil.

In addition to the expansion of the cancer centre, health officials say the larger redevelopment plan will ensure that Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre is able to continue to provide exceptional patient care, while also improving access for the region’s residents for generations to come.

The plan will add more than 240 beds, expand critical care, surgical suites, neonatal intensive care, urgent care and much more, enabling the health centre to enhance almost every service it offers.

“Everything about this day is extraordinary, not only the magnitude of this gift, but the impact it will have on the lives of individuals and their families across this region,” said RVH Foundation CEO Pamela Ross.

“These selfless acts of generosity have the power to inspire others to do same. Because the proof of what generosity can achieve here in our community is undeniable.”

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