Million dollar donation to Kamloops hospital directed to breast cancer diagnosis

From left to right: Ron Fawcett, Rae Fawcett, Heidi Coleman, Dr. Vipal Vedd, Alan Gozda, Dr. Liz Ewart

KAMLOOPS - A local businessperson has made a million dollar donation to Royal Inland Hospital — the largest in the hospital's history.

The donation for the creation of a Rapid Access Breast Health Clinic and a simulation lab comes from Rae Fawcett. The clinic will allow breast cancer tests to happen much quicker than currently possible at the hospital, according to administrator Carol Faberge.

“You would come in, you would have a consultation with a family physician, you would see a nurse and then you would have your ultra sound mammogram,” she says. “If something is detected you potentially would have your biopsy the same day.”

The single trip for breast cancer testing means results could come back within a week, Faberge says, instead of the typical three to six weeks. Not only is this important for locals, but also rural patients who currently have to make multiple trips into Kamloops for tests.

Dr. Liz Ewart says one in eight women will develop breast cancer over there lifetime and around 140 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the Thompson Nicola region.

The simulation lab is an education setting for learning and testing health care workers.

The Fawcett family own and operate the Kelson Group and Tod Mountain Thoroughbreds.

“This is something my husband and our family are very interested in doing,” Fawcett says.

She says the idea came from Heidi Coleman, a friend of hers and CEO of the Royal Inland Hospital Foundation. The idea also hits close to home as her family has had breast cancer scares, and she paddles with survivors of breast cancer in dragon boats.

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