Celebrating 13 years of connection and compassion at The Princess Margaret

2018-04-10  |  Personal |  Posted by: Sherri Freedman

Me pictured with Dr. Mary Gospodarowicz, Medical Director of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

May 2, 2018 will mark my 13th anniversary working at The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.  Every day, I walk through the main floor of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and am reminded of how fortunate I am to support this exceptional cancer research centre.

People who find out that I’m a professional fundraiser often say, “Wow, you have a difficult job” or ask whether it’s depressing to work at a cancer centre.  My answer to both questions is always, “No.”  First of all, The Princess Margaret is one of the world’s top 5 cancer research centres, so it is truly a privilege to support its work.  Everyone who works in the Foundation has a personal connection to cancer, so we are all 100% committed to the cause. While we certainly see people who are suffering both from their disease and sometimes from toxic treatments, many of our patients are able to maintain a high quality of life both during and after treatment.  

Over the past 13 years, I have witnessed so many meaningful moments and seen countless examples of human connection and compassion.  Every day, I see people supporting their loved ones. I see patients and family members connecting in elevators and waiting rooms – sharing a laugh, a tear or some advice.  I see volunteers sitting with patients, listening to their stories and their concerns. Most important of all, I see the extraordinary Princess Margaret staff – doctors, nurses, research coordinators, assistants, porters, cleaning staff – caring for patients with kindness, dedication and compassion.  The word “compassion” comes from the Latin root meaning “to suffer with.”  At the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, the entire team accompanies each patient on his or her journey – no one is alone.

We hope that one day we can defeat cancer and put ourselves out of jobs.  In the meantime, we will continue to come to work each day and do our best to provide our Cancer Centre colleagues with the resources and encouragement they need to conquer cancer in our lifetime.