“We knew if we could do something to support early treatment and diagnosis of lung cancer, the better chances people would have of getting the right care and having better outcomes,” remarks Jerold of the family’s decision to support the bronchoscopy suite at Foothills Medical Centre. “We felt that lung cancer isn’t as well known as some other cancers, and it was something that directly impacted our family.” The family’s support of bronchoscopy equipment supports patients through two important steps of their lung cancer journey: diagnosis and surgical intervention. Bronchoscopies are an endoscopic technique used to internally visualize the airway and associated structures for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Bronchoscopes are used primarily by Interventional Pulmonary Medicine physicians and thoracic surgeons. Foothills Medical Centre performs more bronchoscopies than any other facility in Southern Alberta. It is also the only location, with the exception of South Health Campus, that can perform specialized EBUS bronchoscopies specifically for the purpose of diagnosing lung cancer.
EBUS bronchoscopies have transformed how lung cancer is diagnosed by offering a less invasive procedure that does not require patients to stay in hospital overnight, as they would with more traditional diagnostics. When you pass the hall of the bronchoscopy suite on Foothills Medical Centre’s fourth floor, you’ll see Kathleen Fleishman’s name on the wall as a message to families from a family who has been there. Most importantly, her granddaughters will see it and be reminded of the giving and caring woman their “noni” was.
Building earlier detection and treatment
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among Canadians. About half of lung cancer diagnosis are not made until stage IV.*
One family’s legacy gift radically impacts diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer
The impact of donors
The bronchoscopy suite allows Interventional Pulmonary Medicine physicians and thoracic surgeons to diagnosis earlier and provide better surgical intervention for patients facing lung cancer.
Every day, 80 Canadians learn that they have lung cancer. One day, Kathleen Fleishman, or Kathy as she was known by family and friends, was one of those Canadians. Kathy was the heart of her family. She raised her sons, volunteered, loved to travel and was always ready for an adventure. With her family at her side, she fought her cancer diagnosis bravely and thought of the years she had ahead to be a role model to her granddaughters. Sadly, her fight would come to an end after many treatments and surgeries, and her
husband, two sons and daughter-in-laws and four granddaughters would say goodbye to the woman they loved so much. “She was a fighter,” shares her husband, Jerold. Knowing the tenacity she fought with, the family wanted to honour Kathy for her courage and bravery. And, Jerold wanted his granddaughters to see the impact their grandmother would have on others far beyond the life she lived.
The generous gift made by the Kathleen Fleishman Foundation transformed care:
New technological advances mean better quality of video imaging, resulting in more accurate sampling and broader visualization for discovery of cancerous lung tissue.
Investment in the most advanced technology to
Additional enhanced equipment means that a patients wait time for diagnosis has been
increase capacity has also led to more accurate diagnosis , and therefor, earlier and more accurate treatment protocols.
decreased by 17-33% from 45 days to one to two weeks.
*Source: StatsCAN Plus, 2022
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