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 Christmas fundraiser looks to raise $1 million for new surgical suite

4th annual Light the Trees campaign supports colon cancer research

The Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation is hosting its 4th annual Light the Trees Christmas campaign in order to fundraise for a new surgical suite that would help in their battle against colon cancer.

The cost of the new suite is $1.5 million, and the foundation says they’ve already raised $500,000, leaving them with a goal of $1 million.

The more money is donated, the more Christmas lights will be lit up on the trees at the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital’s entrance.

According to a release by the hospital foundation, over 3,500 people wait up to a year for a colonoscopy in the Nanaimo area.

Statistically speaking, between 30 and 40 people on that list will have undiagnosed colon cancer, which the foundation says is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canada.

READ MORE: Doctor shortage remains ‘critical’ in Parksville Qualicum Beach

“We’re currently receiving about 50 new requests for an endoscopic procudure, mostly a colonoscopy, every day. And we can only do 10 to 20,” said general surgeon at NRGH Dr. Daniel Jenkin in a release.

The foundation says that colonoscopies can remove precancerous polyps before they turn into cancer. Early diagnosis of colon cancer makes the disease highly treatable.

“Nanaimo has had an enormous unmet need for endoscopic infrastructure for a long time. We are the largest centre that I can think of, and certainly in British Columbia without a gastroenterologist currently,” said Jenkins.

With the new suite, the foundation would be able to recruit two new gastroenterologists.

“Which will improve both our ability to diagnose colon cancer with more access to colonoscopy, but also care for inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease,” said Jenkins.

Anyone wishing to donate funds can head to www.nanaimohospitalfoundation.com/light-the-trees/.

emily.vance@pqbnews.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

Remains of the scene off Melrose Road in Whiskey Creek where three bodies were found on Nov. 1, 2020. (Mandy Moraes photo)
RCMP investigation continues into grisly discovery of 3 human bodies, 4 dead dogs near Whiskey Creek

Police still want to speak with motorist who picked up hitchhikers near scene on Nov. 1

An man from Errington died when his ATV went over an embankment on Northwest Bay Logging Road on the weekend. (File photo)
Errington man dies in ATV crash southwest of Parksville

Incident happened on Northwest Bay Logging Road on Saturday afternoon

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

The CVRD will reconsider its policies on fireworks after receiving complaints. (File photo)
Cowichan Valley Regional District considers options for fireworks after complaints

Distict only allows fireworks on Halloween and New Year’s Eve, with a permit

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

Paramedics register patients at a drive through, pop-up COVID-19 test centre outside the Canadian Tire Centre, home of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators, in Ottawa, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians aren’t currently worried that people in other countries might get a COVID-19 vaccine first. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Canadians not worried other countries will get COVID-19 vaccine first: poll

Forty-one per cent of respondents say they want the vaccine to be mandatory for all Canadians

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (PIxabay.com)
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Christy Jordan-Fenton is the co-author of the book Fatty Legs, which has been mentioned amid the controversy of an Abbotsford school assignment on residential schools.
Co-author of residential schools book condemns controversial Abbotsford class assignment

Children’s book mentioned amid controversy at W. A. Fraser Middle School

Most Read