Toronto (Sept. 24, 2014) – Today, Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation is proud to announce a visionary $10-million gift from the Prosserman Family to establish the Ellen and Martin Prosserman Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases at University Health Network, the first of its kind in Canada.

Neuromuscular diseases are those that affect the muscles and/or their nervous control. The most common Neuromuscular diseases include: peripheral neuropathies, including those related to diabetes, autoimmune neuromuscular disorders such as myasthenia gravis and inflammatory neuropathies, and various myopathies including muscular dystrophies. Thousands of Canadians have a neuromuscular disease.

The Centre will be headed by world-renowned neuromuscular clinician Dr. Vera Bril.

"Today marks a pivotal day in neuromuscular care, not only here at UHN, but in clinics around the world that care for individuals suffering from this debilitating group of conditions," said Dr. Bril. "I am inspired and humbled by Martin and the Prosserman Family's generosity. Their investment will significantly grow our capacity to care for more people with neuromuscular disease; drive forward innovative research; and educate future leaders in the field."

"I am grateful for the incredible opportunity Canada gave me and my family," said Martin. "With some passion and hard work, I truly believe you can achieve anything here. In Dr. Bril and her team, I see that passion, that drive to achieve. The two most important things in life are family – my three sons: Ron, Gary and Brian and their families – and good health. This new Centre brings together those passions, and is our "Thank You" to Canada."

The Prosserman Family's funding will increase UHN's ability to care for individuals and families living with neuromuscular disease by: supporting a new chair and recruiting new clinical research staff; updating equipment and funding critical research; and expanding Fellow and resident training in the neuromuscular sub-specialty to train future leaders in the field.

"Martin often says, 'You have to dance the way the music plays,'" said Dr. Bril. "With this gift we will be dancing to a great new orchestra fulfilling our vision to be the Centre in the world for neuromuscular disease care, research and education. The Centre will be guided by Martin's belief in the principles of hard work and dedication to service, and will serve as a legacy for what Martin, Ellen and their family have achieved."

The Prosserman Family's gift is a significant contribution to the $200 million Brain Campaign currently underway in support of the Krembil Neuroscience Centre, which will help address some of the most challenging diseases of our time. To learn more about the Campaign, please visit: www.braincampaign.ca.

Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation

Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation raises funds for research, education and the enhancement of patient care at Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital as well as their respective research arms, Toronto General Research Institute and Toronto Western Research Institute. www.tgwhf.ca

Krembil Neuroscience Centre

The Krembil Neuroscience Centre (KNC), located at Toronto Western Hospital, is home to one of the largest combined clinical and research neurological facilities in North America. Since opening in 2001, KNC has been recognized as a world leader through its research achievements, education and exemplary patient care. The Centre focuses on the advancement, detection and treatment of neurological diseases and specializes in movement disorders, dementias, stroke, spinal cord injury, blinding eye diseases, epilepsy, neuromuscular disease and cancer-related conditions. www.krembil.com

University Health Network

University Health Network consists of Toronto General, Toronto Western, Princess Margaret Hospitals, and Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. The scope of research and complexity of cases at University Health Network has made it a national and international source for discovery, education and patient care. It has the largest hospital-based research program in Canada, with major research in cardiology, transplantation, neurosciences, oncology, surgical innovation, infectious diseases, genomic medicine and rehabilitation medicine. University Health Network is a research hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto.

Media Contact

Phone: 416 340 4636
Email: UHN.News@uhn.ca

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