2013 March 04
Belair Famly Make Significant Donation
Dr. Richard Inculet (back row, second from right) and the Belair family. Grateful patient Mrs.Keiko Belair and her husband Charles (both seated in the front row) made generous donations totalling $200,000 in support of the Thoracic Surgery program at LHSC.
In 2005, Keiko Belair was diagnosed with stomach cancer. Under the care of Dr. Richard Inculet, chief of thoracic surgery at London Health Sciences Centre, Belair underwent a gastrectomy – the removal of her stomach – to save her life.
Thoracic surgeons like Dr. Inculet provide specialized clinical care for patients with a wide range of serious diseases of the thorax (the chest), including the lungs, mediastinum (middle of the chest), chest wall, esophagus, diaphragm, and stomach. For Belair, her experiences with Dr. Inculet and the thoracic surgery team at LHSC not only saved her life but also changed her outlook.
“I am deeply thankful for the support I received from friends and relatives as well as all the doctors and nurses at LHSC, who were so caring and so helpful,” says Belair. “I am so grateful for Dr. Inculet and feel extremely happy to be one of his patients. If it hadn't been for my cancer, I might not have noticed how lucky I truly am. Since my surgery, I’ve found more true meaning in my life.”
In gratitude for the care she received, and to help ensure the next generation of patients receive the same extraordinary care, Belair and her husband made a $200,000 gift in support of Dr. Inculet and the thoracic surgery program at LHSC.
Specifically, the Belairs’ generous gift will support a new thoracic surgery operating room (OR) being constructed as part of our hospital’s OR redesign project at Victoria Hospital. The new thoracic surgery OR will feature a state-of-the-art, minimally invasive surgical suite, which will allow the thoracic surgery team to move forward with advanced, minimally invasive, video-assisted cancer surgery. The technology will also allow the team to share their expertise directly from the OR via video conferencing, benefitting other surgeons and their patients across the country and around the world.
While Belair’s husband – who was a celebrated photographer operating a studio in Kitchener for over 70 years, passed away on September 7, at the age of 98 – didn’t get to see the completion of the new thoracic surgery OR, the Belairs’ gift will be commemorated by a plaque outside the surgical conference room near the new OR that their generosity helped fund.