THUNDER BAY – It was more than 15 years ago when the mother and father of the Bachinski family passed away within the same year. Now the entire family is giving back to the hospital where they received care in the hopes that more people can stay here and be close to family when in need of treatment.
“When we looked at honouring our parents, we said what’s the best way? Who is going to get the most benefit?” said Marian Boxer (nee Bachinski). “We decided on the hospital. Mom had cancer, dad had heart attack. When we decided it would be hospital, we asked our sister and brother in-law if we could involve Susan. She died three weeks after her seventh birthday of arthritis.”
The Bachinski family donated securities totaling $501,161 in support of both Cancer Care and the Our Hearts at Home Cardiovascular Fundraising Campaign in memory of Anne and Samuel Patrick Bachinski and their granddaughter Susan Jane Anne Drindak.
The donation was made by the entire family, including Marian Boxer, Linda Drindak and her husband Paul, Sam Bachinski and his wife Margot Freitag and their two children, Mitchell and Claudia.
“That was the most important part, that it was from all of us, even if the kids donated a dollar each,” Marian Bachinski said.
Sam Bachinski said when his father was in intensive care at the hospital, staff were very accommodating to the entire family.
“Both my parents received excellent care here and it’s nice to give back to the community,” he said. “It’s through the help of this hospital that their dying days were well received and they had excellent care so it’s nice to make this donation and help other families.”
Many patients requiring cardiovascular treatment are forced to leave the city and the Our Hearts at Home campaign is looking to raise $14 million to bring cardiovascular surgery to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.
“We do know what it’s like when you have to leave the support and love of our family,” Marian Bachinski said. “My parents travelled with my sister and brother-in-law when Susan was down at the Mayo Clinic. We know what it’s like when you can’t do it all in one place.”
This latest donation brings the total amount raised for the Our Hearts at Home Campaign to just under $13 million and Eric Zakrewski, campaign vice-chair, said these types of gifts are critical in any major fundraising campaign.
“They create such a spark of enthusiasm and interest,” he said. “This is a major donation for a city of any size, for Thunder Bay this is unbelievable. This really gives us a boost to our goal of $14 million.”
The cardiovascular program in Thunder Bay is expected to help more than 1,000 people per year and Zakrewski said that really gets people interested in contributing to the campaign.
“When people like Marian hear about the fact that many people are having to travel and leave their family and go through that kind of stress, it’s so amazing when you see someone like that step forward and say I can make a difference,” he said. “That is what she’s done and we’ve had a number of people doing that.”
“To know that you can have that kind of care here in Thunder Bay is phenomenal,” Marian Bachinski added. “The thought of having to go down to Toronto for heart issues is scary. It’s exciting to know our donation will help people be able to stay here and be treated properly.”