Luke Fillion goes to great lengths to honour his mother’s memory while helping others in his community. Each year he embarks on a 78-kilometre walk from Hamilton to the CN Tower in Toronto to raise funds for St. Peter’s Hospital (SPH), a special place that allowed him to spend quality time with his mother Janis before her passing.
Janis battled many illnesses throughout her life, including atherosclerosis, diabetes and neuropathy, requiring her to receive care at Hamilton General Hospital, Juravinski Hospital and McMaster University Medical Centre. When she was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, it was decided that the best place for her was the Palliative Care Program at SPH.
“I know the money that I raise is going to help enhance the care provided to patients in this important program.”
“We were surrounded by a loving community at St. Peter’s Hospital,” says Fillion. “In the past, her declining health made it difficult for me to spend quality time with her. St. Peter’s Hospital gave us the opportunity to truly treasure the time we had together before she passed away in 2013 following a stroke.”
Wanting to honour his mother’s memory and to give back to SPH, Fillion established Fillion’s Footsteps for Palliative Care. This year’s walk raised more than $5,000 for St. Peter’s Hospital Foundation, adding to the nearly $9,000 raised in total from previous years. Proceeds have supported the purchase of a pressure mapping system and an assortment of patient chairs for the Palliative Care Program.
“The government does not provide funding for hospital equipment and patient amenities,” explains Fillion. “I know the money that I raise is going to help enhance the care provided to patients in this important program.”
Fillion’s journey inspires the teams at SPH each year.
“The event is a beautiful reminder of the important care that is provided at St. Peter’s Hospital,” says Kim Alvarado, director of the Palliative Care Program. “The donations are used to enhance our equipment and support our ability to provide the best care possible for our patients.”
The 2017 walk was held on May 5, but donations are still being accepted. Proceeds from this year’s event will support the purchase of vital signs machines, which measure patients’ blood pressure, heart rate and the oxygenation level in their blood. You can help by donating at hamiltonhealth.ca/fillionsfootsteps.