The Scarborough community once again came out in droves to join one of SHN Foundation’s most passionate volunteers – Ms. Letna – for her annual Fundraising Brunch event in support of cancer care at Scarborough Health Network. This year’s event took in $5,180 for SHN, making for a grand total of more than $38,000 raised over seven years to help ensure a healthier future for cancer patients in the community.
Ms. Letna knows first-hand the kind of exceptional care offered by SHN, having herself survived two bouts with the disease. She shares: “My care [at SHN] was phenomenal, and my physician was one-of-a-kind – I found her to be very calm and collected, and even sometimes nervous for me, because when I was first diagnosed, I did not have the knowledge that I have now. SHN employees take good care of you – they sit, they listen, they advise and they work with you to develop a strong doctor-patient relationship.”
This year’s event was hosted by Marcia Brown, and featured the musical stylings of D’Lyfe, Tony Anthony, Niro Dance Creations and Jan Morgan. It also featured keynote speaker Dr. Jesse Delaney, who works in Critical & Palliative Care at SHN (each year, the event invites a new guest speaker from the hospital to give an in-depth talk to attendees). Among the guests included Toronto Mayor John Tory, Gary Anandasanagree (MP for Scarborough-Rouge Park), Shaun Chen (MP for Scarborough North) and Mitzie Hunter (MPP for Scarborough-Guildwood).
Given the diverse make-up of her organizing committee, Ms. Letna’s brunch event also raises support for the Jamaica Cancer Society’s Mammography Department and the Georgetown Public Hospital in Guyana.
Despite the success, Ms. Letna remains committed to doing even more. With people across Scarborough (and indeed the country) still living with cancer, and having watched several family members endure their own struggles with the disease, she is confident that the event can continue to grow, both in size and in impact.
“My mother died of cancer. My sister passed from colon cancer. My cousin passed just last year from colon cancer. There are so many people in this community and beyond that we can continue to help through the brunch event. This is my legacy – I want to see this become one of Scarborough’s staple events. Next year will be our event’s eighth year, and I believe we can reach our fiftieth.”