Firestone Institute Celebrates 40 Years with a $2 Million Gift

Pictured (left to right): Dr. Martin Kolb, Director of the Division of Respirology at McMaster University; Melissa Sulpher, patient; and Dr. Tom Stewart, CEO & President, St. Joseph’s Health System, and CEO Niagara Health.

On Friday, October 18th we celebrated the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health’s (FIRH) 40th anniversary. This collaboration with St. Joe’s, part of the St. Joseph’s Health System, and McMaster University has led to research discoveries that save lives by advancing the understanding and treatment of life-threatening lung diseases.

Nobody knows the life-saving value of the research that takes place at Firestone more than mother of four, Melissa Sulpher, pictured here with Dr. Thomas Stewart (right) and her respirologist, Dr. Martin Kolb (left). Melissa is one of 30,000 Canadians living with Pulmonary Fibrosis – a chronic respiratory disease where lung tissue becomes scarred over time. Thanks to ground-breaking research at the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health – Melissa has renewed hope.

“I’m not over exaggerating when I say the opportunity to participate in research like this has changed my life,” remarked Melissa. The medication tested in the trial is slowing the progression of Melissa’s disease—enabling her to enjoy time with her four children.

The Boris Family

Investing in leading-edge healthcare and research is nothing new to the Boris Family, and we couldn’t be more grateful and excited to announce the philanthropic family’s new $2 million donation to the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health! This gift will help the hospital and university recruit a new leader for FIRH who will ensure this four decade legacy of improving patient care through respiratory research continues for decades more to come.

Read more about this gift, FIRH’s history and Melissa’s story at