Spotlight: Franklin Family Gift

A Gift to Inspire Hope and Independence

John and Sue Franklin truly understand the need for a strong healthcare system that can support our aging population. Through their parents, the couple, who live in Toronto’s west end, have experienced many aspects of healthcare, including managing chronic diseases.

In 2007, when John’s mother was 97, she spent a few months in West Park’s Complex Continuing Care unit. “I knew of the hospital’s great reputation,” says John, who was first introduced to West Park through a friend who sat on the Foundation’s Board of Directors. “My mother’s care was very good while she was there.”

Soon after, John was invited to join the board, where he learned even more about the hospital, and all it had to offer its unique patient population.

“I had trained in hospital administration, but only pursued it briefly as a career before becoming an entrepreneur,” says John. “I always had an interest in the healthcare field and believed I could make a contribution.”

Over the six years John spent on the board, he and Sue had the pleasure of attending many fundraising events that cemented their strong impression of the hospital.

“We heard so many amazing stories of recovery from former patients about how West Park gave them hope and the skills they needed to renew their life,” says Sue. “We knew we wanted to continue supporting the hospital after John left the board. And the new hospital, with its modern facilities, will be an excellent change for healthcare in Toronto’s west end, and beyond.”

West Park is home to the largest in-patient amputee rehabilitation program in Canada. Each day, 15 people in Ontario will lose a limb; and as the population ages, the number of amputations is expected to grow.

John and Sue Franklin’s gift of $100,000 to name the Activities of Daily Living (ADL) Kitchen in the Amputee and Musculoskeletal Unit will provide rehabilitation patients with a safe and positive environment to relearn their kitchen skills, and return home with confidence.

“My mother lost her leg to arteriosclerosis. She came home after three months of rehabilitation and spent the next seven years unable to do much for herself,” says Sue. “My mother wasn’t a West Park patient, but this kitchen will allow people like her to regain the skills they need to be independent in their post-amputation life.

“We have been very fortunate in our life, so we want to do what we can to help make things better for others.”