Grateful patient pays it forward

John Ribson was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 1998. At the time, he began treatment under the watchful eye of Dr. Anil Kapoor at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. Now, 20 years later, John is still Dr. Kapoor’s patient.

That’s because over the years the cancer has returned several times but, each time, John, Dr. Kapoor and the St. Joe’s team fight back. In fact, John believes Dr. Kapoor has saved his life on more than one occasion.

With his own struggles in mind, John knows more can be done to find treatments and cures for bladder, prostate and kidney diseases and cancers. And that is why he committed $1 million to help St. Joe’s establish the Urological Oncology Research Centre.

“I am thankful to be able to give back to the Hospital, the physicians and the researchers that helped save my life and to hopefully help save even more lives through new research,” shared John, who, in addition to being a grateful St. Joe’s patient, is President & CEO of 29 Wendy’s Restaurants in Hamilton, Burlington, Toronto and the surrounding area.

St. Joseph’s urological oncology program is one of the best in Canada. The Hospital has the expertise and reputation, and will now also be one of Ontario’s leading urological research sites. While the program has achieved many breakthroughs there is still so much more that can be done.

“Twenty years ago we didn’t have good options for advanced urological cancers; the cure rate was dismal,” explained Dr. Kapoor, Director of Research in the Division of Urology at St. Joseph’s. “With the help of research and new molecule development, we have increased cure rates dramatically. And now, our goal is to prevent cancers before they even begin.”

St. Joe’s already has many of the tools necessary to study and fight urological cancers – significant numbers of patients, leading-edge clinicians and surgeons, and renowned basic scientists. But under the leadership of Dr. Kapoor, the Urological Oncology Research Centre will be a coordinated Centre where teams will uncover life-saving treatments and preventions for patients, like John, and those far beyond our borders.

To-date, just over $2 million of the $5 million fundraising goal has been raised for the Centre.

Another grateful patient of Dr. Kapoor’s, Jim Bullock, made a generous commitment to the Urological Oncology Research Centre and is matching all donations of $10,000 or more to a maximum of $750,000. With your help we will equip St. Joe’s researchers with the resources they need to make ground-breaking and life-saving urologic oncology discoveries. Donate today at: stjoesfoundation.ca/donate.