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In Loving Memory: John Alan Xavier

By Memorial Tributes

It is with deep sadness that we announce John Alan Xavier, of Nanaimo, British Columbia, passed away peacefully on Saturday June 10th, 2023 at the age of 79. In his final days, he took great comfort being surrounded by his partner Luzviminda, his children, his former spouse Merlon, his loving sister Colleen and his godson Alan.

John was born on June 26th, 1943 to Frank and Helen Xavier in Karachi, Pakistan. After obtaining his Bachelor’s Degree, John went on to earn his Masters Degree in Finance. Passionate about Finance, John spent his entire career working for various banking institutions around the world including Pakistan, United Kingdom, Canada, Yemen and finally Dubai, where he retired after many years of dedicated service. John wanted the best for his family and strived for that his entire life.

After retirement, John enjoyed life in Nanaimo, British Columbia with his partner Luzviminda, and visiting Ontario often to spend time with his children and grandchildren.

John was predeceased by his parents, Frank and Helen. He is survived by his partner Luzviminda, his former spouse Merlon whom they shared 4 wonderful children; Helen, Valery (Jamie), Michelle, Mark, 6 precious grandchildren; Alexandria, Nikolas, Emma, Brooklyn, Isabella and Abigail, his sisters Colleen & Sharon, his step-brother Jules, his nephews: Carey, Alan, Rodney, Sean, Jessie, Wayne (predeceased), their families, Luzviminda’s daughters; Jacqueline, Marjorie, Joseluz and Joevimin, many cousins and relatives. He will be greatly missed by all his family and friends.

Cremation has taken place with a Celebration of Life to follow at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation. A special thank you to the kind and compassionate staff on the 5th floor at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, who took such gracious and dignified care of John in his last days and hours.

Meet Legacy Donor Cynthia Crawford

By Medical Equipment, Memorial Tributes, News, Thank You!

Cynthia Crawford is a legacy donor of the Nanaimo District Hospital Foundation. In 2016, while on a cruise, her husband Larry was experiencing shoulder pain, and the GP on board advised them to return home so Larry could receive an MRI. Once home, Larry was diagnosed with Stage 4 Prostate Cancer. His GP attempted to schedule him for an MRI at Nanaimo General Hospital however, the wait time was extensive. Faced with little options, Larry chose to pay for a private MRI.

While undergoing cancer treatment, Larry recognized medical imaging equipment was greatly needed at the Nanaimo General Hospital, and decided to leave a legacy to fund more equipment. Larry’s cancer subsided, but he suffered other medical conditions – one of them being Congestive Heart Failure. Sadly, Larry passed away in 2021.

When Larry’s will was read, Cynthia realized the medical imaging equipment had been purchased and that the new ICU that Larry had been making donations to was nearing completion.

Cynthia chose a Planned Gift as a way of funding the NDHF to acquire new equipment, improve facilities, aid medical research and education to further patient care. She wants to inspire others to give if they can as “we need to ensure the quality of the hospital in our community.”

She chose to leave her legacy to the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital’s Heart & Stroke Care thematic area, in hopes of supporting a future Cardiac Catheterization Lab, after reading about it in the NDHF “Vision 2030 and Beyond”. The Lab is intended to perform non-invasive procedures for cardiac patients to improve patient health outcomes.

Cynthia’s dedication to the NDHF through her donations and volunteer work is a testament of the impact one person can have on their local healthcare system.


Island Savings Partnership

By Media Release, News, Thank You!


NANAIMO, BC – May 8, 2023 – The Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation (NDHF) and Island Savings, a division of First West Credit Union, are proud to announce a new collaboration to support the mental health care initiatives in the Nanaimo community and surrounding areas.

With the goal of improving the health and wellbeing of the community, Island Saving has committed $60,000 over the next three years to promote mental health awareness in the Central Island.

“Helping our communities thrive is a part of who we are, and an individual’s mental health plays a key role in that,” says Kendall Gross, President of Island Savings. “We know that this partnership helps fill a huge need in the community, and as a member-owned financial co-operative, it’s always important for us to listen to the needs of the community and offer our support accordingly.”

The partnership agreement includes events to be held in collaboration with NDHF during Mental Health Awareness Week in May, aimed at raising awareness for mental health and to support those experiencing mental health challenges. In addition, programs will be developed to support the current climate of mental health issues within Island Health and Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.

“The primary focus of the funding will be the outdoor courtyard for the current psychiatric inpatient unit at NRGH.  While there is much work to be done to support patients in and out of the hospital setting, a refurbished outdoor space will help create a place of recovery, a welcoming place as a person of value in our community during some of the most challenging times,” shared Carrie Boland, Manager Acute MHSU, Island Health.

Funds will also be directed to upgrade the walk-in mental health clinic located at Brooks Landing and the Medical Detox Centre in Nanaimo’s South End.

“We are thrilled to work with a partner dedicated to being a change maker in our community. With Island Saving’s financial commitment to mental health care, it will allow us to support people beyond the walls of our hospital and to increase critical mental health programs for the entire community. We look forward to growing this partnership in the years to come,” shared Barney Ellis-Perry, Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation CEO.

Lifeline Nanaimo Volunteer Profile: Trevor Cradduck

By Lifeline Volunteer Profile, News, Thank You!

After his career as a medical physicist, seeking out an organization like Lifeline Nanaimo felt like a natural transition into retirement for Dr. Trevor Cradduc. “I found myself living in a community where several neighbours were Lifeline clients and I saw a natural fit. As an installer I found great satisfaction in aiding individuals gain greater independence.”

“The day eventually arrived when I could no longer drive so was obliged to give up installing Lifeline units. I was able, instead, to act as editor for Seniors Connections – a monthly news sheet funded by a Federal grant and distributed to a variety of community centres. With the cessation of Seniors Connections, I have been able to continue my volunteer activities by assisting Lifeline at community events such as health fairs and contributing to Lifeline’s Facebook page.”

Our volunteers are the backbone of our program and we couldn’t do all that we do without them!

For more information or to volunteer your time at Lifeline Nanaimo.


Tim Hortons Smile Cookie Week Returns

By Events, Media Release, News

100% Cookie Sales Donated to Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation

NANAIMO, BC – Smile Cookie Week is almost here, with the annual campaign taking place from – May 1 – 7. During this week, Tim Hortons chocolate chunk cookies will transform into something incredibly special: Smile Cookies – hand-decorated treats that raise money for local charities across the country.

100% of proceeds from each Smile Cookies purchased at Nanaimo Tim Horton restaurants between May 1st and 7th will be donated to Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation directed towards the High Acuity Unit and ICU projects at NRGH. Cookies are on sale during this week for $1.50 plus applicable taxes.

“We are thrilled to be the partner recipient for the 2023 Smile Cookie campaign,” shared Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation CCL (Chief Cookie Lover) Barney Ellis-Perry. “Last year’s campaign was a great success raising over $45,000 thanks to the generosity of our community members and year to date totals of $270,000 proving the old adage, good things come from those who eat cookies!”

Please join us for a special Smile Cookie kick-off event:

When: Tuesday, May 2, 2023 1:30-3:00 pm

Where: Tim Horton’s Rock City (2980 Island Hwy N Unit 200)

Who: Join NDHF Barney Ellis-Perry and NDHF Board Chair Tony Harris and other key community members as they decorate smile cookies for this year’s Smile Cookie campaign.


We have some great videos and photos to help share the word of Smile Cookie week. Please find these materials here:

Smile Cookie Video

Smile Cookie Poster

Board Member Anu Mayer Advocates for Cancer Care Advancements

Board Member Anu Mayer Advocates for Cancer Care Advancements

By News

NDHF Volunteer Anu Mayer Advocates for Cancer Care for Central Vancouver Island

Six months after joining the Hospital Foundation’s volunteer Board of Directors in 2021, Anu Mayer’s daughter Natasha was diagnosed with Lymphoma cancer. Today Anu shares how the need for cancer care here in central Vancouver Island came very close to home for her family.

November 13, 2021 was a milestone day for Natasha Mayer – graduation day. She felt an area around her neck that was swollen and irritated. She had been complaining about being tired but chalked that up to a busy UVic course load and reaching the grad finish line. As the neck lump persisted Natasha visited her doctor in Nanaimo, who recommended a screening with the local cancer clinic. January was given as the earliest they would get in.

So Natasha waited, but her neck got worse. Back at school in Victoria, Anu encouraged Natasha to get it checked out again. So on December 7th Natasha went to the ER at The Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria. Over the next 3 days in a whirlwind of appointments at the Jubilee, Natasha received a confirmation it was cancer, a biopsy was booked, and she had an ENT visit. Anu moved down to Victoria to support her daughter. December 15th the biopsy was performed, and Christmas Eve the diagnosis was shared – Stage Two Cancer.

Healthy and young, the doctors were very positive this was a treatable cancer for Natasha. They felt lucky.

The next 6 months Anu split her time between an Air B+B near the hospital, the Cancer Clinic, and fitting in zoom calls for her Nanaimo based business and philanthropy roles. All while navigating the challenging COVID protocols and ever-changing lockdowns.

The Cancer treatment facilities were state of the art. Mom and daughter passed the hours talking and playing crib in the chemo rooms with blankets, reclining chairs, all to make the patients more comfortable. On May 9th Natasha rang the bell and was officially cancer free. As Anu shares, it was the best Mother’s Day gift ever.

It’s hard for Anu to not see the correlation of being asked to join the role of a board member for the Hospital Foundation and going through a medical fight in her family months later. “It has made me even more determined that we need to advocate and lead the change for our growing community,” shared Anu. “We were lucky- Natasha found another route going down the Malahat and we were able to uproot our lives to support her in Victoria for her treatment, not every family has the ability or resources to do that.”

April is Cancer Awareness Month, a month close to Anu and so many central island families. The province has promised a new cancer centre for central Vancouver Island, and as the mom of a cancer survivor and as a volunteer on the NDHF board of directors, Anu is working to hold the Province accountable. Cancer Care is one of the 6 Key Focus Areas of the Hospital Foundation to ensure the best possible outcomes for cancer patients through new cancer services and equipment.

Embracing Equity with Electrical Apprentice Alex Tungate

By International Women’s Day, News

International Women’s Day 2023 – Embracing Equity with Electrical Apprentice Alex Tungate

Role: Apprentice

Department: Electrical Contractor working on the future NRGH ICU.

Who do you primarily work with day to day?  Usually, a Foreman or another Apprentice. It changes all the time.

How long have you been in this field?  6 months

What is one (or some) of the most challenging, yet rewarding parts of being a woman in your career?
I feel more reward everyday than challenges. I love the company I work for and feel I have a lot of support from my team and from other people at the jobsite. Being the minority is something I am, and others are aware of, but as time goes on it is something I think about less often. With my specific team currently, it is comprised of mostly younger men and as 30 year old women it can sometimes be challenging to always feel connected to the team.

How do you support other women in your field?
I’ve been lucky enough to know and work with a couple female electricians and it feels great to chat about our experiences and create a positive environment!

Tell us a bit about what life looks like outside of work?
I live with my partner and our dog Sierra. We love spending time outdoors, hiking, camping, lake days, snowboarding. I also love to paint and read, socialize, and cook good food!






Embracing Equity with Safety Coordinator Lisa Corbett

By International Women’s Day, News

International Women’s Day 2023 – Embracing Equity with Safety Coordinator Lisa Corbett

Role: Safety Coordinator – Contractor working on future NRGH ICU

Department: Construction Field

Who do you primarily work with day to day?
Ensure compliance being met in all aspects of our job sites. Train and educate workers in safety practices and procedures as per Worksafe regulations while building a great culture within the safety world.

How long have you been in this field?
16 years.

What is one (or some) of the most challenging, yet rewarding parts of being a woman in your career?
Challenges were always taken seriously when I first started. As a woman in this industry, you must prove that you are just as skilled as your counterparts in the construction industry. The rewards are that I get to build very strong positive relationships with teams. I get to make sure that all parties that come onto our sites are feeling comfort in knowing that we really do care about their safety and they get to go home to their families safely at the end of the day.

How do you support other women in your field?
I ensure that they feel very welcomed on our site. I continually conduct a professional attitude but also make sure that they understand my door is always open for them if things get tough. I love to mentor the women who come to our sites so they feel confident in what they are doing and where they are working.

Embracing Equity with Project Manager Jean Phan

By International Women’s Day, News

International Women’s Day 2023 – Embracing Equity with Project Manager Jean Phan

Role: Project Manager, Strategic Initiative

Department: NRGH ICU and HAU

Who do you primarily work with day to day?
Adults in need of Critical Care support

How long have you been in the health care field?
I have been in Nursing for almost 13 years, with the past 10 years working in ICU. Since last year, I took the opportunity and became the Clinical Project Manager.

What is one of the most challenging yet rewarding parts of being a woman in your career?
As a bedside nurse, I find the most challenging thing is to balance a full-time job with two little ones at home. On top of that my husband works full time as a Respiratory Therapist, so we have two hospital shift workers in this household! In my profession, it is predominantly women with a lot of them being mothers. I receive a lot of empathy and support from them. Oh, the stories that us mothers would share!

Since I become the Clinical Project Manager, it has been a great learning curve. I must learn new terminologies and jargons (specifically construction related), to understand the process of construction, and to learn how procurement works in Island Health. Everyone has been so supportive and patient with me since I joined the team.

How do you support other women in your department/ward/field?
Our society still holds a lot of the old perceptions of women are more emotion focus and men are more technical minded. As such, women sometimes feel the need to go above and beyond just to be recognized as equal when the discussions become highly technical. I often encourage fellow women in the field to speak up when needed and provide anyone interested in the opportunity.

Tell us a bit about what you like to do on days off/spare time?
I was born and raised on Vancouver Island. My parents were one of the original refugees during the infamous Vietnam war. They immigrated to Victoria over 40 years ago. I am now married with two young boys (5 and 3). Cooking traditional Vietnamese and Cantonese cuisine are one of my favourite pastimes. It is also a great way for me to cope with stress. My boys say I make the best Chicken Pho, even better than Ong’s (grandpa).

Embracing Equity with Tia Anderson

By International Women’s Day, News

International Women’s Day 2023 – Embracing Equity with Tia Anderson 

Role: Owner & Installer

Department: Tia is a Commercial Floorer by trade, and is one of the hardworking contractors working on the future NRGH Intensive Care Unit.

Who do you primarily work with day to day?
My business partner and Husband primarily, helpers if we need extra hands on a job, contractors, and other trades.  Every day is different.

How long have you been in this field?
It will be 11 years as of April 1st 2023.

What is one (or some) of the most challenging, yet rewarding parts of being a woman in your career?
Respect. It can be a challenge not always but sometimes you have to earn it. (Doesn’t help that I look younger than I am and am only 5’3). I work hard, I stand up for what I know is right and I’m darn good at my job. I take pride in what I leave behind at the end of the day.

I recommend showing off in a safe manner – ‘She-Hulking’ as I like to call it. When it comes to doing my job, I’m very particular, and demand a high level of performance. I need other trades to finish their jobs before I can start mine sometimes, but I also need them out of my way once I start. Earning a mutual working respect with your colleagues, regardless of gender is incredibly rewarding.

How do you support other women in your field?
You don’t see a lot of women in flooring. We are out there, but it is not for everybody. It is a very physically challenging job. Most of the crews I have worked with I’ve been the sole female, but the people you work with know what you’re capable of and can help when you need it. You have to be willing to work hard but also admit when you need help – whether that is a man or a woman asking for a helping hand.

This year’s theme is Embracing Equality, how does this resonate with you in your workplace?
I don’t really see gender I just see people. But I know over the years woman have started to be far more welcomed on construction and trade sites. I wish I could say we are at a fully equitable level in this industry, but that isn’t true just yet, but it has gotten better and I am confident will continue to.

What you like to do in your spare time?
My hubbie and I have been together for 8 years. We have had our own company for 5 years.
We have our cat fur baby and hoping to start a human family in the next couple years.
On days off I love to bake! I like going rock hunting, build lego, and just relaxing!