Stories of Care - Patients

A headshot of Christina
Christina Savoy

Rallying the Community to Support Cancer Care

“By helping you discover local alternatives every month, we hope that you’ll continue to shop locally and support businesses in the community.”
Headshots of Marty and Julia
Marty and Julia Savoy

Cancer affects us all. Everybody knows someone – a relative, a friend or a neighbour – who has been diagnosed with the disease. For Julia and Marty Savoy from Burlington, cancer hit close to home in 2015.

“We grew concerned when my mother, Christina, started to see blood in her urine,” Marty recalls. “She visited her family physician, who referred her to Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre.”

Testing revealed that Christina had an aggressive form of bladder cancer, requiring immediate treatment.

“It’s was hard to receive a diagnosis like that,” says Julia. “The team at the Hospital helped us through this tough time. They were very supportive when we needed it most.”

A difficult journey

In an attempt to stem the growth of the cancer, Christina underwent surgery to remove her bladder.

“After surgery, she was feeling good for the next few months,” says Marty. “Then she began to feel pain in her hips during February.”

Scans showed that the cancer had spread into Christina’s hip bones. Additional surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy were all ruled out as viable treatment options.

“The cancer was terminal and they estimated that she had about six months to live,” recalls Marty. “Every member of her health care team was incredible and they helped make her as comfortable as possible.”

Christina passed away in 2016, leaving behind a legacy of love and fond memories in the community. While her passing was the cause of great sadness for her many loved ones, Christina’s cancer journey also inspired Julia and Marty to help other families.

A helping hand

“To honour the fifth anniversary of her passing, and in response to the pandemic, we launched Hamilton-Halton’s Community Haul,” explains Julia. “It’s a monthly subscription box to celebrate Hamilton and Halton business owners, and a portion of proceeds is donated to Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre Foundation.”

Each month, subscribers receive four to six items sourced from businesses across Hamilton and Halton. Subscribers receive items like sweets, locally roasted coffees, handicrafts, jams, sauces, and bath and body products.

Hamilton-Halton’s Community Haul is proud to be a partner in Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation’s Care4 cause marketing program. For every box sold, $5 will be donated to the Foundation, which raises funds to support vital equipment purchases and important medical research.

“By helping you discover local alternatives every month, we hope that you’ll continue to shop locally and support businesses in the community,” says Julia. “This is also our way of helping other patients and families dealing with cancer. Helping other people is what it means to be Canadian.”

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