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Oshawa family donates $5 million to health foundation

The Perry family of Oshawa has donated $5 million to Lakeridge Health Foundation, the largest gift in the past 15 years. (Supplied photo)

A local family has provided Lakeridge Health Foundation with one of its largest donations ever.

The Perry family of Oshawa has donated $5 million to the organization, the largest in the past 15 years.

Alongside Foundation and Hospital staff, Steve Perry and his family made the exciting announcement in the lobby of the Oshawa Hospital on Nov. 20.

The family’s deep roots in Oshawa began more than a century ago and they’ve continued to invest both personally and professionally in Durham Region ever since.

Perry’s  grandfather was born in Oshawa in 1901, followed by his father, then Steve and the rest of the his family, including his sister Lisa, sons and two grandchildren.

The family also set business roots in the area beginning with Harry O. Perry Fuels in 1932, as well as Prairie Plumbing, and Perry Mechanical. Today, Perry Mechanical provides service to over 80,000 residents all over Durham Region as an Enercare franchisee.

The donation was made because Steve and his family feel indebted to the Hospital for the care their late son, Chris, received during his battle with anorexia and bulimia.

“My eldest son struggled for 11 years,” remembers Perry. “We were in and out of the hospital as many as 50 times so he could receive treatment to boost his electrolytes.”

When Perry looks back on that time, he fondly remembers the doctors and nurses that cared for Chris.

“They treated him with respect and dignity despite his conditions. Every single time they saw him they cared for my son with compassion. That impressed me.”

Perry was compelled to give back in any way he could.

He joined the Foundation as a donor and volunteer fundraiser for three major fundraising campaigns including Heroes of Hope, which helped fund the building of the R.S. McLaughlin Durham Regional Cancer Centre.

Over the last 20 years the Perry family has made a number of donations to various areas in the hospital including diagnostic imaging, paediatrics and interventional radiology.

Perry and his wife, Jan, decided in that moment that they would personally donate a significant gift to recognize the unforgettable care their son received.

A large portion of this donation will support the R.S. McLaughlin Durham Regional Cancer Centre.

The centre, which was designed in 1999 and completed in 2007, is undergoing significant renovations to improve patient flow and safety as well as increase clinical space.

As cancer treatment and care changes, so does the technology required to keep up.

Perry hopes his gift will inspire others to do the same, “I really enjoy being a donor because it feels good to give. I’m a huge believer in giving back to the community and the community has been great to us.

I hope my story rubs off on a lot of people. If you’re thinking about making a donation, know that you are going to help so many people, and yourself. I hope everyone who can give will help in some way.”