Janice Perrino, Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation chief executive officer, left, and Rebecca Taylor, communications director, are out to Light the Trees and raise $1 million throughout December to build a new endoscopy suite at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin)

Janice Perrino, Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation chief executive officer, left, and Rebecca Taylor, communications director, are out to Light the Trees and raise $1 million throughout December to build a new endoscopy suite at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin)

Nanaimo hospital foundation trying to Light the Trees to combat colon cancer

December campaign calls for donations to build new $1.5-million endoscopy suite at NRGH

Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation will be lighting up the trees as it tries to put up a fight against colon cancer.

The foundation is about to begin its fouth annual Light the Trees Christmas campaign to raise the remaining $1 million needed to build a third endoscopy suite at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.

In Nanaimo there is a backlog of patients waiting for colonoscopies that could save their lives. Of more than 3,500 people waiting up to one year for the procedure, statistically, about 30 to 40 of them will have undiagnosed colon cancer, according to a foundation press release. It ranks as the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in men and the third-highest in women; yet, if caught early, colon cancer is highly treatable.

“A colonoscopy can do a couple of things,” said Janice Perrino, hospital foundation chief executive officer. “It can diagnose serious illnesses, but it can also remove polyps before they become cancer, which is wonderful, and lots of polyps never become cancer because when we take them out, they’re just taken out and they’re gone, so it’s one of the only types of procedures that can cure the cancer before it even becomes cancer.”

Nanaimo’s population is on the rise, as are the numbers of patients who need treatment. NRGH’s two existing endoscopy suites can perform 15 to 20 procedures per day, but 50 new people are added to the wait list daily. The only way to shorten wait times for the procedure is to build a third endoscopy suite which will allow up to 35 per cent more colonoscopy procedures per day and shorten wait times for hundreds of patients.

“We only have two of these surgical suites,” Perrino said. “We desperately need a third.”

The total cost to build the suite is $1.5 million. The hospital foundation has already raised $500,000 and from Dec. 1 to Jan. 1, the foundation’s Light the Trees campaign will try to raise the remaining $1 million to complete the project.

The closer the foundation gets to its fundraising goal, the more trees in front of NRGH’s main entrance will be set aglow with Christmas lights.

To learn more about this year’s campaign and the Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation and to view a video explaining the function and need for a new endoscopy suite, visit the foundation website at https://nanaimohospitalfoundation.com/.



photos@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
Two Nanaimo care-home residents have died during COVID-19 outbreak

Death reported Monday was the second related to Chartwell Malaspina outbreak, says Island Health

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Nanaimo RCMP are seeking the public’s help after a man allegedly assaulted a clerk at James General Store on Victoria Road on Jan. 18. (Submitted photo)
Suspect screams at customer then assaults store clerk on Nanaimo’s Victoria Road

RCMP asking for information about Jan. 18 incident at James General Store

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

Beef of the Week: Shame on the Chinese restaurant that uses peanuts instead of almonds on their almond chicken. This is not right.
Beefs & Bouquets, Jan. 20

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Rod Bitten of Union Bay won $500,000 in the Lotto Max draw on Jan. 15. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island electrician gets shocking surprise with $500K Extra win

Rod Bitten has been hard at work with home renovations, which is… Continue reading

Rendering of two residential buildings proposed for the corner of Haliburton and Milton streets. (Matthew T. Hansen Architect image)
Two five-storey residential buildings approved for Haliburton Street

City council issues development permit for 79-unit complex at Haliburton and Milton

A suspect has been arrested in connection with fires at Drinkwater Elementary (pictured) and École Mount Prevost. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Arson suspect arrested after fires at Cowichan Valley schools

Drinkwater Elementary and Mount Prevost schools hit within a week

Oyster River Fire Rescue members were called out to a suspicious fire in Black Creek. Two vehicles parked at a private residence were destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy Oyster River Fire Rescue
Suspicious fire destroys two vehicles at Vancouver Island residence

Oyster River Fire Rescue personnel were dispatched to a fire at a… Continue reading

Members of the BC RCMP Explosive Disposal Unit (EDU) is on route to Drummond Park opposite of Fulford Habour on Saltspring Island after the discovery of a suspicious cylindrical-shaped device. (Google/Screencap)
Bomb disposal unit en route to Salt Spring Island after suspicious device found in park

Police say a resident discovered the device Wednesday morning in Drummond Park opposite BC Ferries terminal

Seven streets in downtown Duncan, including Station Street, will soon have new native names added to their signage. (Submitted graphic)
New Duncan street signs will be in English and Hul’q’umi’num

Seven streets to get additional names in First Nations language

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

Most Read