Funded by BC Cancer Foundation donors, the facility is a focal point for education and information and is designed to empower patients, their families and caregivers to make important decisions about their own cancer care and treatment.
"We know that cancer presents many challenges for patients and their families," said Tammy Currie, Senior Director of Regional Clinical Operations for BC Cancer – Abbotsford, during the opening ceremony. "The purpose of this space is to provide an inviting space for information and education knowing that informed patients make better choices. We also hope that it will help alleviate stress associated with the cancer journey."
The idea for the facility was conceived of two years ago by donor, Paul Esposito Sr., who wanted a place for patients to receive "knowledge, inspiration and comfort." Leadership at BC Cancer – Abbotsford knew it had an underutilized waiting space on its main floor and recognized that it had potential to manifest Paul's vision.
"It's what we give back to our community that really makes a community," said Mr. Esposito, surprising everyone at the ceremony by handing over another donation in the form of a personal cheque. "I'm grateful that I've had this opportunity to serve my community with such fine people. It's been a real privilege of mine to work with BC Cancer... to try to put a stop to this ugly disease called cancer."
Designed as a focal point for all information about cancer, from diagnosis through treatment to survivorship and end-of-life, it is ideally situated at the entrance on the main floor of Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre next to the pre-anesthetic clinic.
The facility currently boasts a wealth of materials on a wide range of cancer-related topics. Information workshops and group teaching opportunities will be possible, including group chemotherapy information sessions and video-link services to other regional centres for enhanced educational opportunities. The plan is for the facility to continue to evolve and grow over time as people use it and provide feedback.
"Service to our fellow humans is the moving force that takes science forward, heals illness and makes our communities healthier," said Dr. Muhammad Zulfiqar, Medical Director for BC Cancer - Abbotsford. "We are eternally grateful to all those donors that made this space possible."
Communications Officer, BC Cancer
Provincial Health Services Authority
PHSA media line: 778-867-7472