Humber’s Cancer Care Program Unveils Celebratory Bell
Today, Humber River Hospital’s Cancer Care Program unveiled a brand new bell that patients will be able to ring in celebration of their treatment milestones.
This passion project was brought to life by a group of patients with cancer and family members of patients who use their experience to help make the Cancer Care experience at Humber the best it can be: the Cancer Care Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC).
While many hospitals have bells that patients ring to celebrate the end of chemo or radiation, Humber’s Cancer Care PFAC wanted to ensure that all patients, some of whom will never finish treatment, would have a chance to ring the bell.
“People will be able to ring our celebratory bell when they reach the milestones that they personally draw meaning from,” says Monica Elligsen, Oncology Nurse Navigator. “Milestones are unique to every patient, and we want to give everyone the opportunity to acknowledge those moments in their journey.
Family members of patients who have passed away will also be ringing the bell in memory of their loved ones.
“My niece Ashley was diagnosed with Stage 4 Colon cancer at the age of 25,” says Rhonda, a member of the PFAC. “As I hear this celebratory bell ring, it will always signify to me just who Ashley was and what she was able to achieve during her journey with cancer.”
“The celebratory bell is a perfect symbol to reflect the care, compassion and hard work that goes into the cancer journey….a beacon of positivity and accomplishment,” says Shaniza, a member of the PFAC who was a former breast cancer patient at Humber. “I can feel the joy and hope, as the ringing reverberates through the halls of the Cancer Care Clinic.”
Today’s intimate unveiling of the celebratory bell took place in the CIBC Cancer Care Registration & Lounge in Humber’s Cancer Care Clinic. One of the families ringing the bell today was the Caroti family, who used this moment to remember and pay tribute to Mary Caroti, who passed away last year.
“My mom, Mary Caroti, was an inspiration and kind to everyone she knew,” says Mary’s son Alessandro. “She showed unwavering strength, determination, and a unique zest for life, even when faced with life’s greatest challenges. As an active member of the PFAC, my mom wholeheartedly supported the Celebratory Bell and all it symbolizes. Unfortunately, my mom isn’t here with us to ring the bell because she passed away October of last year. It is up to my dad and I to ring the bell on her behalf. My dad and I are humbled to honour my mom in this way. As the bell rings, we are comforted that the chime will peacefully resonate with her and fill our hearts with love and gratitude.”
The bell will find a permanent home at the door to the treatment area, so that patients will walk by and know it’s there from their beginning of their treatment.
“Ashley was an inspiration to all of us,” says Rhonda. “I know Ashley would have rung that bell until everyone knew she lived her life just the way she wanted to, on her terms and in her way.”