Father and Son Run Boston for Health

A father and son team from Cape Sable Island, Nova Scotia is tackling the world’s most famous marathon to raise money for the Yarmouth Hospital Foundation’s new endowment program. Their goal is to complete the 26.2-mile Boston Marathon, the first father-son duo from Nova Scotia to do so, and raise $26,200 for the foundation.

Adlai Cunningham from Newellton, Cape Sable Island, and his son Kerry, who now lives in Toronto, will be running the prestigious event on April 21. The Cunninghams understand how important it is to support health care. Ten years ago Kerry was hospitalized after suffering a life-threatening brain aneurism. Thanks to prompt intervention by top notch professionals he made a full recovery. Adlai has been a member of the board of directors of the Yarmouth Hospital Foundation for the past five years and has seen firsthand how community support can enhance health care services in the region.

Mark Muise, Vice Chair of the Yarmouth Hospital Foundation and Chair of the Gift Planning program, applauds the efforts of the Cunninghams.

“Entering the Boston Marathon with the aim of drawing the community together to support health care services at our regional health centre demonstrates a commitment beyond a passion for the sport of running,” says Muise.

The father-son team acknowledges that, for the most part, the first line of health care is a personal responsibility and chose running as their sport to enhance and maintain their health. Adlai has been running for eight years and Kerry began three years ago.

The idea to run Boston, the most famous road race in the world, came about in December 2006. After setting their sights on Boston, Adlai and Kerry later discovered that no father and son team from Nova Scotia had ever run the event together.

On Sept. 30, 2007 they qualified for Boston during the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Kerry, finished in three hours and nine minutes and Adlai finished in 3:23, beating the qualifying time by one minute and 12 minutes respectively.

After qualifying for the Boston Marathon, they saw the opportunity to draw attention to the benefits of a healthy lifestyle while raising funds to strengthen the region’s health-care centre.

With a renewed sense of purpose, Adlai and Kerry began training for the 26.2-mile run in December and set a fundraising target of $26,200 for the foundation’s endowment program. To reach this goal they are seeking out the support of businesses, community groups and individuals.

To support Adlai and Kerry’s Run For Health please contact Adlai Cunningham at 745-2925 or the Yarmouth Hospital Foundation at 749-1669.

District Cancer Centre for Southwest Nova Scotia Announced

Today Health Minister Chris d’Entremont announced funding support for the development of a district cancer centre for South West Health.  The new cancer centre will provide a better environment for cancer patients and families by grouping all cancer related services in one location.

“Cancer has touched us all and dealing with this dreaded disease is stressful,” says Chris d’Entremont. “By providing $450,000 for the development of the South West Health Cancer Centre, the Government of Nova Scotia is helping to relieve some of that stress by providing enhanced services and care for cancer patients and their families.”

South West Health currently operates a district oncology unit at Yarmouth Regional Hospital, however space is limited.  Cancer-related services are offered but are scattered throughout the hospital.

“We are looking forward to a more comfortable and convenient atmosphere for patients and families as well as for the health professionals who work in the space everyday,” says Blaise MacNeil, CEO, South West Health.

“This new centre will house 10 chemotherapy chairs (an increase from the current 5), and will allow us to bring together all of the various cancer services housed in different parts of the Yarmouth Regional Hospital complex,” says Cathy Blades, vice president of clinical care for South West Health.

“We hope that the new centre will help us attract more visiting oncology specialists to provide better access to more services closer to home,” says MacNeil.  Currently cancer services are supported by two visiting oncologists from the provincial cancer program.  Dr. Mary Davis, medical oncologist and Dr. Helmut Hollenhorst, radiation oncologist work closely with district staff to provide consultation, treatment, supportive care and follow-up on the patients of the district.

“This is great news for patients and staff at our Regional Health Center, and I congratulate the District Health Authority for pursuing the initiative,” said Yarmouth MLA Richard Hurlburt. “Doubling the number of treatment chairs and locating all treatment services in one area will mean faster and more efficient service. This is a great example of our Government doing more for our residents and communities.”

Work on the Cancer Centre is expected to begin in the next few months