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Heart, breast, maternity care helped by Feast of Fortune event

Heart, breast, maternity care helped by Feast of Fortune event

Lunar New Year is a celebration of new beginnings for Asian communities, and this year for some patients of St. Paul’s and Mount Saint Joseph Hospitals as well.

The Scotiabank Feast of Fortune, an annual banquet for Lunar New Year, is aiming to raise $1 million to offer fresh hope to female patients in heart, breast, and maternity care at Providence Health Care.

That means patients like Lucia, who was an active woman in her forties when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After the biopsy confirmed her fears, the confident words of her surgeon at the Breast Centre at Mount Saint Joseph Hospital stood out to her: “It’s okay if you don’t remember everything I’m telling you. All you need to know is that this is fixable.”

Six weeks later, Lucia underwent a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. As she began her new life as a cancer survivor, she praised hospital staff for giving her the confidence and strength to face her diagnosis and to heal.

Now the Breast Centre that changed her life has its eyes on some new technology – a SPY-PHI portable handheld imaging system to better help women facing mastectomies.

The system “will help us make decisions while we’re still in the operating room to prevent post-op complications and improve surgical outcomes,” said the centre’s Dr. Nancy Van Laeken.

The tool helps surgeons who are reconstructing a breast to ensure tissue is properly connected and blood is circulating while the patient is still in surgery, saving time and preventing complications. The Breast Centre performs about 1,200 breast cancer surgeries per year, more than any other facility in B.C.

Feast of Fortune committee members with a cheque representing last year‘s donations.

The upcoming Feast of Fortune, Saturday, Feb. 8, will fund the purchase of the imaging machine, as well as support heart health research for women and the maternity centre at St. Paul’s Hospital.

“Together, we can make a big difference in women’s lives,” said Lucia.

Since 2008, the Feast of Fortune has raised more than $6.7 million for medical equipment. This year, the event is focusing on women’s health in the areas of breast cancer, heart health, and maternity care.

Dr. Ashley Smith and Dr. Donna McLachlan at the St. Paul’s maternity clinic. Funding from Feast of Fortune helps support maternity care at St. Paul’s.  (Providence Health Care photo)

The 2020 Lunar New Year celebration includes food, music, entertainment (including a lion dance), and auctions in support of women’s health programs. 

It will be held at JW Marriott Parq Hotel in downtown Vancouver. For more information visit www.helpstpauls.com/feast-of-fortune-2020.