Being diagnosed with lung cancer is life-changing. A plethora of information is thrown at your feet, treatments such as chemotherapy, medication and surgery are discussed, and all this while dealing with the sobering thoughts the word cancer brings to mind.

This is why Della and Stuart McLaughlin chose to help the more than 3,500 new lung cancer patients who are diagnosed throughout BC every year.

“A family member of ours was diagnosed with lung cancer,” says Della. “So we know how difficult it can be for everyone involved. We jumped at the chance to help the thousands of patients in BC facing lung cancer get absolutely critical support.”

The McLaughlins’ generous gift to VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation is funding an innovative partnership program between Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) and BC Cancer Agency entitled Lung Evaluation & Assessment Program (LEAP). The program will employ a medical navigator to support lung cancer patients and their families throughout their journey, including palliative care. In addition, it aims to shorten the diagnostic process.

“In lung cancer time is very relevant because sometimes symptoms can progress quite quickly,” says Dr. Janessa Laskin. “A couple of weeks can make a significant difference.”

“And that’s what the McLaughlins are impacting,” adds Dr. John Yee. “They are making sure that patients are being seen by the right specialists, and having the right tests done as quickly as possible.”

The overall risk of developing lung cancer in the lifetime of both men and women is 1 in 13, with nearly seven people dying every day from this disease in BC.

Through the McLaughlins’ gift patients will have the support they need to feel confident, a point of contact for any questions they might have, and an efficient process to get them to the right treatment.

Our heartfelt thanks go to the McLaughlins whose generosity is transforming health care in BC.