Joseph Brant Hospital has been a part of one-third of Alexandra Todd’s life, so giving back to the hospital is something she looks back on as inevitable. Her father is a pharmacist, and her mother is a physician who received her training and started her career at JBH.
“For a period of time, JBH was at the centre of many events for my family,” she said. “As my mother was starting started her career, my grandfather was in palliative care at the hospital, so even when we would go for a walk by the lake, the hospital was always close in sight and thought.”
For Alexandra, hearing stories from her parents about how rewarding and special certain experiences with the hospital have been, and how kind the staff is going above and beyond continued as she’d spend time at the hospital with her mother.
“I was able to wait for my mother finishing checking a newborn on the weekends in the pediatric ward, and it was very uplifting to see so many smiling faces of nurses and parents with their newborns,” said Alexandra. “Despite my experiences with my grandfather, it showed me that the hospital was not always a place for sad news or illness.”
As a student at Fern Hill School, with an incredible history of fundraising, Alexandra was inspired to approach the Principal to suggest redirecting some of the funds raised to their own community hospital, rather than the charities the school had supported in the past.
“It was thanks to Mrs. Derrick who opened her door, ears and heart to a 12-year old wondering and questioning “why not, could we, what do you think” that made it happen,” she said.
As a result of her initiative, Fern Hill School made a five-year pledge in December 2014 to raise $100,000 in support of the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation.
Alexandra continues to volunteer with the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation and has recently been an active member of the planning committee for the Join the J community kick off in Spencer Smith Park last October, and as a participant on the Youth in Philanthropy discussion panel last winter.
For Alexandra, supporting healthcare goes back to the care her grandfather received over six years ago.
“I always remember how kind the staff are, going above and beyond for my grandfather,” she said. “Not only the excellent doctor but also the angel nurse who got him Yorkshire pudding to stimulate his English appetite. She was not just the nurse giving his medication, but also the one attending to his pain, suffering, and got to know him as a person.”