Third time's the charm

Family honours life-saving care with MSHeroes gift

“Markham Stouffville Hospital saved our family three times,” says Tammy and Mike Czestochowski, who recently made a gift in honour of the care their family has received at the hospital over the years. First in 1999, Cole, the couple’s son, was born premature and needed specialized care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. “I’ll never forget the day we walked in to find one of the nurses had propped Cole up on her knee and was giving him a kiss,” recalls Tammy. “It was such a stressful time and to see how much the doctors and nurses genuinely cared for our baby boy meant a lot.”

Then, Mike received life-saving treatment for a rare case of Legionnaires disease in 2008. “There were a number of occasions during my treatment when Tammy felt the nurses and doctors were responsible for saving my life,” explains Mike. “Up until then I had been very healthy. When you have something like this happen to you, having Markham Stouffville Hospital so close to home makes a world of difference.”

The family turned to the hospital again last year when Tammy was diagnosed with breast cancer. “When you’re told you have cancer you think you’re going to die,” says Tammy. “But my oncologist, Dr. Mateya Trinkaus, gave me the feeling that everything was going to be alright.” Given her family history of breast cancer, Tammy chose to treat the cancer aggressively with a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. “I knew I was in good hands,” says Tammy. “It was wonderful to have the comfort of knowing you don’t have to travel to Toronto or the States for the best treatment.”

“This was the third time we needed Markham Stouffville Hospital. Third time’s the charm, that’s why we made the MSHeroes gift in honour of Dr. Trinkaus,” says Tammy. “The entire staff of the chemotherapy clinic took such good care of my wife,” adds Mike. “I couldn’t live without Tammy.”

Mike and Tammy encourage others to join them in supporting the hospital. “MSH is the heart of our community and is always there when you need it,” says Mike. “If you can help the hospital, whether it’s $25 or thousands of dollars, you should. I can’t help as a doctor or nurse but I can write a cheque. That’s the least I can do.”

[PDF] Spring 2015 Healthy.Together. Markham.Stouffville. Newsletter MSHF Blog Home