Patients in the Hemato-Oncology Department of the Argenteuil Centre Multiservices de Santé et de Services Sociaux (CMSSS) spend an average of four to eight hours at a time seated in chemotherapy treatment chairs. Even in perfect conditions, the treatment can be harrowing and difficult; and with the wrong accommodations, it becomes unbearable. In March 2017, the Argenteuil CMSSS received its last treatment chair for the Hemato-Oncology Department. These new chairs are ergonomically designed, ensuring that the patient will be comfortable and well cared for throughout the treatment period.
Indeed, it was thanks to the commitment of one Terry Washer that the purchase of this last chair was possible. Washer, a resident of the Lake MacDonald area, knew just how distressing these treatments could be: he himself had been diagnosed with cancer. He was known as an active and engaged member of his community. After receiving his diagnosis, Washer organized several fund-raising events to benefit the Hemato-Oncology Department in the Lachute hospital, the most successful of which was a barbecue held at Pub 327 in Lost River (Township of Harrington), which Washer had acquired after his retirement and operated for 10 years.
Nearly 150 people attended the event, at which there was no paid staff: all contributors were volunteers, and tips were donated to the cause. Washer’s goal was to raise enough funds to allow for the purchase of the missing treatment chair in the Hemato-Oncology Department; and with the help of his family, friends, and volunteers, this goal was attained: a total of $7,500 was raised during the event, which was enough to purchase an appropriate chair.
Washer died in 2015, after a long battle with cancer. A commemorative plaque will be installed in the Hemato-Oncology treatment room as a tribute to his support.