We support PMCF simply because the skilled and caring staff at PMH supported us when we needed it most, beginning over 25 years ago.

I was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1996. I was 38 years old and my wife and I had been married for just over 3 years. This news threw us for a loop. After my surgery, I was referred to PHM and was treated by a wonderful man named Dr. Jeremy Sturgeon. At the very first appointment, he educated us, calmed us and reassured us that everything was going to be okay. He personally took us to the Chemo Daycare unit to introduce me to a man who was receiving the same Chemo treatment that I was about to begin. Over the next several months I learned that I had a secondary tumor and that the cancer had spread. I suffered a few complications and was hospitalized for a week. The care was exceptional and the people were wonderful. Everyone, from the cleaners to the medical staff treated us with dignity and respect. Things got better fairly quickly and we were once again on our way, or so we thought.

About 18 months later, in 1998, I was diagnosed with an unrelated cancer, this time in my colon. Dr. Sturgeon arranged for me to be cared for by Dr. Amit Oza and his team. We were immediately struck by Dr. Oza’s calming and reassuring manner and his exceptional skill at keeping us informed. (My wife will always remember his colourful socks !) Surgery was followed by months of chemo and once again the care was exceptional. Things were looking up until 1999 when tumors were discovered in my liver. The cancer had spread.

After some detailed testing, it became clear that I was a candidate for surgery to remove a part of my liver to give me the best chance of survival. Everyone on my care team remained positive and treated me with the same attention to detail and the same care and compassion that we had become so used to. Their confidence and their approach allowed my wife and I to stay positive. The next year brought more chemo and it was tough, but slowly things began to improve.

Well, here I am after all these years. My wife and I recently celebrated 29 years of marriage. I am now 63 years old, we are both retired, and we are enjoying life to the fullest. We still visit a clinic at PMH for an annual checkup as the result of some things discovered during my treatments. Although the hospital has become a much busier place than it was in 1996, we continue to experience the best of care, and for that we are truly thankful.

Joe & Annalea Matthews
Niagara Falls, ON