When Terry Fox embarked on his Marathon of Hope to run across Canada in support of cancer research, he asked every Canadian to donate just one dollar towards the cause. In 1980, that would have meant about $25 million.
In the same vein, though on a much smaller scale, a Burnaby entrepreneur is putting out a call to residents of this city to donate what they can for the purchase of a much-needed piece of medical equipment at Burnaby Hospital.
Jack Gin, an entrepreneur and professional engineer, has a goal of raising the $20,000 that would pay for a new gastro-scope, a surgical device that allows doctors to put a fibre-optic camera into a patient's digestive tract.
The device is both a preventative tool, allowing for minimally-invasive diagnostics, as well as an administrative tool, used to administer medication and place feeding tubes. Gin will match, dollar-for-dollar, whatever donations are made, up to $10,000, to pay for the device.
"Hospitals are supposed to be paid for by the government. Well, the reality is, the government isn't able to afford to pay for everything," he said. "The biggest expense is paying for the people there, and clearly, we have to pay our doctors and nurses. And when the doctors and nurses ask for special equipment and the hospitals can't afford all of it, it's nice if citizens can contribute to part of it."
Cheryl Carline, president and CEO of the Burnaby Hospital Foundation, said the foundation is grateful for the Gin family's donation.
"By bringing this new gastroscope to the hospital and matching every dollar donated up to $10,000, they are creating a sense of community and helping thousands of patients each year," she wrote in an email to the NOW.
The hospital has a "wish list" of items needed, compiled by the medical staff who work there.
From this list, Gin chose to help fund the gastroscope because of his interest and background in cameras and surveillance technology.
He founded a company called Extreme CCTV in Burnaby that produces active-infrared night-vision-surveillance equipment.
In 2008, he sold the company to a corporation in Germany and put a "substantial portion" of the sale towards the Gin Family Foundation.
Through his foundation, he searches out causes to donate to both locally and internationally, in areas related to women, children, education and health.
"My family foundation is about contributing to the community as close as our hospital and as far away as Ndola, Zambia," he said.
A few years ago, The Jack Gin Family Foundation helped build a boarding school for HIV affected orphans in Zambia, and two years ago helped pay for the replacement of the school's playing field.
As a long-time resident of Burnaby, Gin said it is important to him to support his local community.
Gin said he recognizes there are many causes Burnaby residents may be interested in supporting, but believes the local hospital should be near the top of their priority list.
"Every hospital has to raise money," he said. "And here's the thing with hospitals in B.C.: most of the money goes to the Children's Hospital because . the community takes care of children. Well, what about old people? Our own hospital needs support, too. In terms of which is the rock star hospital to give to, this is not it. But if you live in Burnaby, why don't you give a little bit to your own hospital, too?"
Donations to the Burnaby Hospital Foundation can be made online at http: //bit.ly/14trUZc or mailed to Burnaby Hospital Foundation, 3935 Kincaid Street, Burnaby, B.C., V5G 2X6, with a note indicating the donation is for the purchase of a gastro-scope.
For more information, call the foundation at 604-431-2881. email@example.com
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