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"We know the sophisticated equipment at MSH is funded by generous people in our community and we are so grateful to those. Now we want to do our part for other people." —Bernard and Ruth Tong

When Bernard and Ruth Tong moved to Stouffville decades ago it was just cornfields, potato fields and a lot of maple trees. That was long before Markham Stouffville Hospital (MSH) was built.

“I remember when they began building – it truly was in the middle of nowhere,” Bernard recalls. “Today, MSH is an amazing place. The medical teams there have cared for Ruth and I tremendously well.”

Thanks to support from generous donors like you, our hospital has often been there for the Tong family over the years. One time in particular stands out. In 1997, Ruth developed breast cancer. She was prepped for radiation at a different hospital where they discovered another mass in the same breast.

“They suggested a radical mastectomy and told her to go home and put her affairs in order,” Bernard recalls. “We were devastated.”

But then, Dr. Solow at MSH suggested a different chemotherapy he wanted to try for Ruth. And it worked. “I’ve never forgotten that it was the team right here in our local hospital who saved my wife’s life,” says Bernard.

Filled with gratitude for the lifesaving care Ruth received at MSH and driven by a deep commitment to their neighbours and community, the Tongs decided to give back. They want to ensure every patient has access to cutting-edge equipment, the latest treatments and specialized patient care programs – well into the future.

“Ruth and I decided to make a gift to MSH in our Wills,” Bernard explains. “Ever since then, we’ve felt great knowing that we’ll be helping our community long after we ourselves are gone.”

May is Leave a Legacy month and today, Bernard and Ruth join us in inviting you to consider leaving a gift in your own will.

“I know that some people feel like leaving a bequest to charity is only for people with large estates. Not true. If we all leave a bit to the hospital (once family is taken care of), together we can make sure this hospital and community can thrive long into the future,” says Bernard. “That’s exactly the kind of legacy we want to leave behind us.”

The Tongs have benefited from the leading-edge care at MSH many times over. Not only has Ruth battled breast cancer, Bernard has also been through five cancers himself, as well as a spine operation.

“The medical teams are very, very professional and also very caring,” he says. “You always feel like you have fantastic people on your side – doctors, nurses, everyone. With these gifts in our will, we’re supporting the folks at MSH, the same way they’ve supported us over the years. We’re very happy to do this for our hospital and for all the families whose loved ones are treated there.”

Learn more about leaving a legacy