My sister was one of those people who lit up a room with her smile. She loved her job as an ER nurse, where her smile comforted and assured so many of her patients. My sister is just one of the special people I will honour this holiday season when I purchase my lights for the Trees of Caring Campaign.
I remember the first year I noticed the trees in front of the hospital and learned what they represent; a multitude of gifts from our generous community. Thousands of special memories of treasured folks like my sister. It’s hard to imagine this Cambridge Memorial Hospital (CMH) tradition is already 30 years old!
My name’s Katherine Cressman — Kate, as I’m commonly called — and anyone who knows me well knows how much I love this community. I’ve spent my whole life in North Dumfries, but I still get excited each year when the glow of tree lights on Coronation Boulevard first begins. It reminds me that others are as passionate about the hospital as I am.
Once the trees are lit, it always feels like the stage is set for the holidays to begin. The CMHF Trees of Caring Campaign is a unique tradition with a long history. It’s amazing to know community donations have saved lives for the past 30 years.
Last year, we read about how Trees of Caring gifts purchased a machine that saved baby Ruthie from severe respiratory distress. I immediately thought about my own grandchildren. Having the new AIRVO equipment available at CMH meant Ruthie’s family could stay together over Christmas while she was cared for. What a gift. This year’s donations will be just as important, saving even more lives and providing our community with the very best care when we need it most.
I’m so grateful for your faithful support of our community hospital. Will you help the Trees of Caring shine brightly this year? Your gift of $10 will illuminate one light, or a gift of $250 means you’ll light up a whole string of lights. Your donation will go directly towards life-saving equipment for Cambridge Memorial’s expansion and redevelopment.
Thanks to generous community support, we are well on the way to putting the very best tools into the hands of our medical staff. We’re so close to opening our new hospital wing. CMH will soon be able to offer more sophisticated on-site services, greater privacy and a higher Emergency Room capacity. The brand new space will transform the way CMH delivers care to our growing communities of North Dumfries, Cambridge and surrounding areas.
The new wing really is a remarkable space – and now it’s time to fill it with the specialized equipment needed to provide first-rate care in our community.
I know I was surprised when I first learned that the Ontario government covers 90% of construction costs, but the funding ends there. 100% of equipment purchases and 10% of construction or renovation comes from public donations. That’s why support from friends like you is so vital.
In the past, our community has pulled together with incredible generosity. In 2012, CMH purchased a new MRI machine that is used nearly every day and helped to transform cardiac imaging in this region. Donor gifts helped pioneer HELP (Hospital Elder Life Program), which provides compassionate care and constant support to our elderly patients.
Local donations also funded the Spy Elite Imaging System, allowing surgeons to identify the healthiest tissue and ensure more rapid healing for women undergoing breast reconstruction during or following cancer treatment. CMH is the only centre in the region equipped with this state-of-the-art machinery, and the only Regional site to perform the ‘same-day’ reconstruction technique.
Innovations like these simply wouldn’t be possible without our community’s commitment and thoughtful giving.
Right now, every contribution makes a difference. Each donation to Trees of Caring will help purchase vital equipment for our new wing. Your gift today will help fund daily essentials – like wheelchairs, beds, and vital sign monitors – as well as high-tech machinery like surgical microscopes and a CT scanner.
Cambridge Memorial has been my family’s hospital for a very long time. My husband and I have both needed surgery at CMH. Our children and our grandchildren were born here. We’re so grateful that we don’t have to travel to larger centres for our healthcare. Our hospital is such a big part of our community.
We’re lucky to have such excellent healthcare close to home.
I joined the CMH Board of Directors because I want to represent North Dumfries and give back to my hospital and my community. I hope to raise awareness of the need for local support for our hospital. Along with a dedicated committee of North Dumfries volunteers, my friend David Pyper and I set out to raise funds from our Township, because CMH is our hospital too.
Two years into our fundraising I’ve been blown away by the generous support from Township families and businesses. I have a feeling we will see many of them light their own lights on our Trees of Caring this year. It makes me so proud to be part of a community that supports outstanding healthcare close to home.
Buying lights in honour of someone special is a great Christmas gift — for your loved one and also for the hospital. You can dedicate your donation to family, friends, co-workers, or teachers, like I do for my sister. You can even name a special hospital staff member who made your care experience exceptional.
Your gift to Trees of Caring will light up the community today, shining brightly over the holidays. But it’s a gift that will last, too. Your contribution allows future generations living in our community to benefit from outstanding healthcare, right here.
When my husband Reg and I make our donation this year I will be envisioning which might be our lights on the majestic trees. I will smile each time I drive by, and think of my precious sister and everyone we have lit a light for this year. We are so blessed to have a hospital that’s been there for us when we needed it most.
It’s a beautiful scene, those lights shining brightly in the night. But it’s also a heartwarming vision of community spirit. Each tree light is a symbol of our support for the hospital, and each other.
Patients spending the holidays in hospital who see the glow from the Trees of Caring will know that they’re being cared for in a place where the community is thinking of them. Families like Ruthie’s will be grateful that your gifts allow them to stay together, close to home, during a stressful time.
I can’t think of a more thoughtful way to give back to our community hospital in the holiday season. You’re giving a gift that benefits all of us.
I hope you’ll give generously to Trees of Caring today. You’re bringing the very best healthcare to our community, for my family and for yours. As I always say, it’s the right thing to do.
Thank you for your continued support of Cambridge Memorial. I wish you and your family a happy and healthy holiday season!
Board Member, Cambridge Memorial Hospital Foundation
Co-Chair, WeCareCMH North Dumfries Campaign
P.S. We all want to keep the level of care at Cambridge Memorial at its highest so we can be cared for close to our homes and families. Can I count on you today to light up the Trees of Caring and help reach our goal?