​Last week I attended U of T Salutes! 2018 which is the University's celebration of faculty members who have received international and major national research accolades in 2017. The event covers all disciplines from Germanic Languages & Literature, through Music to all of the fields in which UHN researchers are engaged. Awards from the International Society for Stem Cell Research, through Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to the World Cultural Council – Leonardo da Vinci World Award of Arts were all in the program. It is always dangerous to single out an individual for recognition when 10 people affiliated with UHN were honoured, but I will risk it as John Dick was celebrated with four awards last year, all of which celebrate a deep and wide contribution to stem cell research in the tradition of James Till and Ernest McCulloch.

On a very positive note, last week the Fairchild Chinese Canadian Telethon raised over $200,000 for the Toronto General and Toronto Western Foundation with telethon live from the lobby of the Toronto Western. This is the most ever raised for the TG&TW Foundation and means that Fairchild has raised over half a million dollars from its listeners over the past year which speaks to the value that this community places on our hospitals.

I'll also take this opportunity to send along a note of thanks I received last week. It is often the small acts of compassion and kindness that make all the difference and it is always a pleasure to receive such a note. My guess is that the two people who helped wouldn't see anything extraordinary about giving the assistance, but the patient and his wife wouldn't agree.

"On February 7 my husband and I came to Toronto Western. He has Parkinson's and has regular appointments at the Movement Disorders Clinic. On that day he could barely walk. We were near the food court trying to get to the elevators.​ As we were struggling, two Toronto Western employees – a woman and a man – stopped as they were hurrying to get to their work and offered help. I am not sure how we would have managed without them. My husband was exhausted and I was at my wits' end. I have no idea of the names of those two people, but I am grateful for their help and wish to thank them. We hear so many bad things in this world, so it is truly wonderful to know that there are kind, caring, generous people. They were a source of inspiration and I thank both of them."

And finally, the opening of The Lancet's Toronto Global Cancer Control Conference 2018 took place last Thursday and when I looked through the list of abstracts for the conference I was proud to see someone from UHN's Princess Margaret Cancer Centre listed as a co-author on almost every page. My thanks and congratulations to Mary Gospodarowicz who inspires her colleagues – here and around the world – with her passion and commitment to making things better for those who have cancer.


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