Archie Verspeeten – the founder of Ingersoll, Ont.-based Verspeeten Cartage — donated $20 million to the London Health Sciences Foundation (LHSF) in one of his final philanthropic acts to support cancer research and treatment.
The London Health Sciences Centre’s London Regional Cancer Program (LRCP) will be named the Verspeeten Family Cancer Centre to honor the gift, which was announced just three days after he passed away.
It’s the largest gift ever made to a hospital foundation in Southwestern Ontario and capped the family’s lifetime investment of $27 million.
A sanctuary of hope and healing
Verspeeten had lost his wife Irene, and sons Alan and Ron, to cancer.
“The loss of my wife and sons to cancer has intensified my determination to create a lasting impact in the battle against this devastating disease,” he said before passing away.
“My family and I have steadfastly supported the London Regional Cancer Program, recognizing its indispensable role in the community. This gift is more than a financial investment; it represents a strategic move toward finding a cure for cancer and reshaping the LRCP into a sanctuary of hope and healing. I sincerely hope this contribution will not only advance efforts toward a cure but also enhance the quality of life for patients, allowing them to live comfortably despite the challenges of the disease.”
Previous donations included $3 million to the hospital’s clinical genome centre, after Ron passed away with pancreatic cancer. The Archie and Irene Verspeeten Clinical Genome Centre was created with an earlier $3-million donation.
Archie founded Verspeeten Cartage in 1953 with a single truck, and had passed the family fleet to Ron in 2006.
A ‘transformative gift’
“Archie’s transformative gift is a beacon of hope and a testament to his determination to eliminate the scourge of cancer,” says LHSF president and CEO John H MacFarlane.
“This historic donation will propel cancer treatment to new heights, enabling us to pioneer groundbreaking research, enhance patient care and effectively improve the way we operate.”
“This historic donation from Archie and Irene will not only elevate the quality of care for our current patients but will also fundamentally change the trajectory of cancer treatment for future generations,” added Dr. Michael Ott, physician executive of oncology.
“We are immensely grateful for this visionary support, which will empower our team to lead the charge against cancer in innovative and unprecedented ways.”
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