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Donor Story

Perry Family's Story

Lakeridge Health Foundation announced an extraordinary donation

On Tuesday, November 30, 2018, Lakeridge Health Foundation announced an extraordinary donation of $5 million from the Perry family, the largest donation the foundation has received in the last fifteen years.

Alongside Foundation and Hospital staff, Steve Perry and his family made the exciting announcement in the lobby of the Oshawa Hospital. The family’s deep roots in Oshawa began more than a century ago and they have continued to invest both personally and professionally in Durham Region ever since.

Steve’s grandfather was born in Oshawa in 1901, followed by Steve’s father, then Steve and the rest of the Perry family, including his sister Lisa, sons and two grandchildren. The family also set business roots in the area beginning with Harry O. Perry Fuels in 1932, as well as Prairie Plumbing, and Perry Mechanical. Today, Perry Mechanical provides service to over 80,000 residents all over Durham Region as an Enercare franchisee.

The extraordinary donation was made because Steve and his family feel indebted to the Hospital for the care their late son, Chris, received during his battle with anorexia and bulimia. “My eldest son struggled for eleven years,” remembers Steve. “We were in and out of the hospital as many as 50 times so he could receive treatment to boost his electrolytes.”

When Steve looks back on that time, he fondly remembers the doctors and nurses that cared for Chris. “They treated him with respect and dignity despite his conditions. Every single time they saw him they cared for my son with compassion. That impressed me.”

Steve was compelled to give back in any way he could. He joined the Foundation as a donor and volunteer fundraiser for three major fundraising campaigns including Heroes of Hope, which helped fund the building of the R.S. McLaughlin Durham Regional Cancer Centre. Over the last twenty years the Perry family has made a number of donations to various areas in the hospital including diagnostic imaging, paediatrics and interventional radiology.

The idea to give $5 million to the Hospital was first conceived when Steve’s son was going through treatment and it was clear he would not recover. Steve and his wife, Jan, decided in that moment that they would personally donate a significant gift to recognize the unforgettable care their son received. In 2018, Steve approached Lakeridge Health Foundation with his intention of doing just that and more – an incredible $5 million donation from his family and Perry Mechanical.

Joanne Botticella, District Manager & Director of Operations, Durham East at Perry Mechanical is also a long-time Durham Region resident. “I was so happy when Steve told me his plan. I think I speak for everyone on staff when I say we’re proud to be a part of this gift to the hospital. Cancer touches a lot of people so I think this donation is going to help the entire community, our community.”

The $5 million gift is the largest donation Lakeridge Health Foundation has received in the last 15 years and one of the biggest in our history. “The Perry family is an outstanding example of the community spirit we see in Durham Region,” says Yves Gadler, CEO, Lakeridge Health Foundation. “Steve in particular has played a significant role in the history of our Foundation and Hospital. His generosity both as a volunteer and donor has and will continue to make a remarkable impact. Oh behalf of our entire hospital, its staff and patients, I want to thank the Perry family and the employees of Perry Mechanical for their generous gift.”

A large portion of this donation will support the R.S. McLaughlin Durham Regional Cancer Centre. The Centre, which was designed in 1999 and completed in 2007 is undergoing significant renovations to improve patient flow and safety as well as increase clinical space. As cancer treatment and care changes, so does the technology required to keep up.

Tom McHugh, Executive Vice-President, Patient Services & Regional Vice-President, Cancer Services and Lakeridge Health feels equally excited about the donation. “Donations like these make an incredible impact on community health care and will help Lakeridge Health and our Cancer Centre bring world-class care to Durham Region. The story that inspired this donation is a reminder of how exceptional patient care can make a lasting impression on families and that’s something we know we can be proud of. Thank you to Steve and the whole Perry Family.”

“I was part of the volunteer team that brought our current Cancer Centre to life. Like any good business, we have to keep pace with the needs of our growing community,” says Steve. “Our hospital, and what’s inside it, needs to grow too. We already feel like we have the best Cancer Centre in Ontario. It’s time to let others know it too!”

Steve hopes his gift will inspire others to do the same, “I really enjoy being a donor because it feels good to give. I’m a huge believer in giving back to the community and the community has been great to us. I hope my story rubs off on a lot of people. If you’re thinking about making a donation, know that you are going to help so many people, and yourself. I hope everyone who can give will help in some way.”