A beautiful, zen-like tub and shower room located in the oncology ward at Kelowna General Hospital is now complete, thanks to a group of generous friends who have hosted many a ‘pink’ party as a way to honour the legacy of a wonderful woman, mother and friend.
Judy’s Spa, as it has affectionately come to be known to staff and patients, features a beautiful oversize tub and now, a large shower equipped specifically to suit the needs of cancer patients on the ward.
In 2005, Heather Schroeter rallied friends and family and hosted a fundraising event, a ‘Pink Party’, in honour of her mother, Judy Colborne who had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer.
The goal was to eventually raise $200,000 to support the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Although Judy passed away shortly after the second Pink Party, ‘Judy’s Girls’ pink partied on. They surpassed their original goal seven years later, and the decision was made to make the gift even more personal.
Since 2012, funds raised have been dedicated to building Judy’s Spa, transforming a tub and shower room in the Oncology ward at KGH into a place of serenity and peace.
“We are so happy to complete Judy’s Spa,” says Schroeter. “Knowing how difficult the journey is for patients; knowing that now there is a place to relax, to feel a little less like they are in a hospital. It was important for us, in honor of my Mom, to know that we could restore dignity to their experience.”
The tub room, which opened in March 2015, has certainly provided this space for many patients. However, a make-over of the shower space was needed as well in order to truly serve the needs of all patients on the ward.
“We are thrilled,” says Lori Jakins, Manager of the unit. “The value of this gift to our patients is really immeasurable. We are incredibly grateful to Heather and her amazing team for their ongoing generosity.”
“This has been a very unique, special project,” says Bettina Muller, Events Coordinator with the KGH Foundation, benefactor of the funds to finance the project. “It’s been so well received that we’ve had other wards asking for one too.”
This year’s 12th annual Pink Party fundraiser took place on Saturday, Oct. 15, where nearly 200 women joined in the fun dressed as their favourite Disney character.