Margaret Rodgers (right) at her birthday celebration with friend Sherrin Wasson.

Margaret Rodgers (right) at her birthday celebration with friend Sherrin Wasson.

SIDEBAR: A chance to give back

Peace Arch Hospital patient Margaret Rodgers decided she didn't want gifts for her 75th birthday – just donations to the facility.

In the realm of donors to Peace Arch Hospital, Margaret Rodgers must surely be in a special category.

Diagnosed with bone cancer while studying for a degree at McGill , the English-born woman was – in her own words – “sent home to die before I was 20.”

Almost six decades later, she’s still around, although currently an extended-care patient at Peace Arch.

In spite of bouts with cancer in her ribs and hip and multiple chemotherapy treatments – and eventual loss of use of one hand – she has lived a full and rewarding life in Canada which has included careers at IBM and as a travel tour creator, and marriage (her husband passed away at Peace Arch in 2002).

“I’ve had a fuller life than most people who have nothing wrong with them,” said the down-to-earth, pragmatic Rodgers, whose soft voice still bears the tones of her hometown of Leeds, Yorkshire.

On Oct. 24, Rodgers held a 75th birthday party for herself and, instead of gifts, the 65 guests were asked to make a donation, raising more than $4,000 for the hospital.

It was a replay of a successful 60th birthday party in England, she said.

“At that time, thinking that I’d survived 40 years longer than expected, I decided that I didn’t want any gifts, just a donation to my mum’s favourite hospital.”

Recurrence of the cancer that has shadowed her throughout her life forced her to abandon a plan to return to England for her 75th, and instead hold the party at Victory Memorial Park.

Inevitably, given her health history, her thoughts turn to leaving an example of giving as a legacy to the community

“I didn’t want (the party) to be just a fundraiser,” she said. “I want to make the community aware of what a wonderful hospital we have here.

“What is surprising and impressed me so much from my recent experience is the professionalism of the nurses and doctors – they are so kind and patient. They must be harassed, but it never shows.”

 

Just Posted

Rahim Manji owns and operates the Hollywood 3 Cinemas in Newton, along with the Caprice in South Surrey, a theatre in Duncan and another in Pitt Meadows. “I think right now it feels different than last June, it just does,” Manji said. “I’m a lot more optimistic, with more people calling, more people out and getting vaccinated, so I think the comfort level is a lot better.” (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Surrey movie theatre operators reopen and rejoice, even with 50-max capacity

‘We have been one of the hardest-hit industries’

A sign warning of a pack of coyotes hangs near 2660 Croydon Dr. (Aaron Hinks photo)
South Surrey woman sounds alarm after encounter with pack of coyotes

Susan Martin said three full-grown coyotes were lurking around her home

(Delta Police Department photo)
Delta police searching for Surrey woman missing at Centennial Beach

Wenyan Lan, 54, reported missing when she didn’t come home from a crabbing/clam digging trip June 14

Ian MacDonald, spokesman for Surrey Police Service. (Submitted photo)
Surrey Police Service launches public consultation campaign

This is to help the SPS form its first strategic plan

Outdoor vendors at the Cloverdale Flea Market are seen in this bird’s eye view image from the flea market’s Facebook page.
Cloverdale Flea Market to reopen

Market to open June 20 after being closed since Nov. 2020

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers found that 56% of foundations and eye products contain high levels of fluorine

Most Read