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Construction begins on “place of healing” for cancer patients

Premier Redford and Mayor Mandel help break ground on Wellspring Edmonton facility

Edmonton, August 29, 2013 – Alberta Premier Alison Redford and Mayor Stephen Mandel broke ground with Wellspring Edmonton board members and supporters in a ceremony that kick-starts the charitable non-profit organization’s capital campaign to build a cancer support centre for Edmonton and area patients, families and caregivers.

The centre, slated to open in 2014, is purpose-built for Wellspring and designed to provide a warm, nurturing environment for cancer patients and their families to overcome the emotional, physical, spiritual and practical challenges of fighting cancer and recovering from the disease.

“I know Wellspring Edmonton will help give cancer patients the support and courage to overcome their illness and will complement the world-class cancer care available in Alberta,” says Premier Alison Redford. “Wellspring Edmonton exemplifies the Alberta spirit, where communities come together to help individuals and families in need. I’m proud that our government is supporting this project through a land lease agreement.”

Enhancing Edmonton’s medical services

Wellspring Edmonton board chair Dr. Glenn Hundleby says the centre will enhance non-medical care for cancer patients and their families with programs designed to meet local needs, based on findings from a detailed survey of local and regional cancer organizations and societies in Edmonton.

“While hospitals provide excellence in medical treatment, Wellspring provides excellence in support for the person, their families and caregivers by helping them learn new skills, make adjustments and quickly return to a fulfilling and productive life,” says Hundleby.

He added, the organization was grateful for the tremendous support from Edmonton’s building community, which is donating most of the material and labour for the facility.

Construction on the 12,000 sq. ft. facility now begins on a parcel of land located on the corner of 65 Avenue and 113 Street. The land is leased from the Government of Alberta for $1 per year over a 25-year period.

Wellspring Edmonton campaign chair Lyle Best’s life was personally touched by cancer both as a caregiver and a patient.

“Cancer is a life changer,” says Best. “For family and caregivers, Wellspring will be a place where you can have a few hours of respite. Wellspring will make an incredible difference because it will give people more resources and new strategies to deal with cancer.”

A place that brings patients and families together

The Wellspring Edmonton centre will offer cancer patients, families and caregivers a place where they can talk to others who have been through treatments themselves, sharing knowledge, experiences and coping strategies in a warm and encouraging environment.

The centre will provide a wide range of educational and support services including:

  • Peer Support
  • Coping Strategies
  • Yoga and Meditation
  • Arts in Medicine
  • Professional Speakers Series
  • Exercise and Fitness
  • Diet and Nutrition

The non-residential building will house many amenities including classrooms, a gymnasium, art studios, a children’s centre, a resource/media centre and a large kitchen with an attached café lounge.

$3 million needed from the community

The campaign has $4 million pledged to date, or 60 per cent of its $7-million goal. The organization is now calling on the community to help raise the remaining $3 million needed for the centre to open in 2014.

Donations to Wellspring Edmonton can be made at its website: http://wellspring.ca/edmonton/.

ABOUT WELLSPRING

Wellspring Edmonton is a charitable non-profit organization dedicated to delivering a range of cancer support, programs and services for patients and their families so they can develop skills and strategies to improve their quality of life during and beyond cancer.

Registered as a Canadian Charity in 2010, Wellspring Edmonton will use the Wellspring Support Model, which has been recognized by Alberta Health Services and Health Canada as an outstanding example of organizational excellence in community-based care. This model was first applied in Toronto in 1992 and is now used by seven other Wellsprings across Canada.

Media contact:

Jim Rudolph
Wellspring Edmonton Board Member
T: 780-426-4123; C: 780-690-5166
Email: jim@jgrcommunications.com

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