Every year in Northwestern Ontario, thousands of people require lifesaving treatment for cancer, which could mean staying in Thunder Bay for weeks at a time. In this sparsely populated region – the size of France – Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) is the only site where regional patients can receive cancer treatment. The whole experience can be daunting, overwhelming, and scary: Tbaytel Tamarack House is just the port in a storm that regional patients need.
While local people can receive their cancer treatments at TBRHSC and then go home, regional patients have to contend with travel on winter roads or flying out of a northern community, and figuring out all the logistics of living away from home – sometimes for weeks or even months. Any cancer diagnosis is terrible, but the haven of Tbaytel Tamarack House can really help.
On the fifth floor of the Thunder Bay Medical Centre, patients arrive to a friendly attendant who greets them and shows them their comfortable accommodations with private bath, a spacious and well-equipped kitchen, bright sunny lounge areas, a small exercise facility, a laundry area – basically, all the comforts of home, just steps away from the hospital. But Tbaytel Tamarack House is more than just a place to stay.
Patients and families meet, talk, laugh, play games, gather around the piano, share meals, and support one another. If patients are staying alone, other families often check in with them, or people make connections and end up carpooling back and forth from their regional communities together. Previous guests insist that it’s not a sad place: it’s upbeat, it’s helping each other out, it’s group therapy, it’s family. Without Tbaytel Tamarack House, this atmosphere just wouldn’t happen.
From the start, Tbaytel saw the benefit of helping patients help each other and got involved with Tamarack House. When the Home Away from Home campaign was launched in 2004 to raise funds to complete the interior of Tamarack House, people, businesses, charitable organizations, and community groups generously stepped forward to donate, and Tbaytel, looking for meaningful ways to take care of its neighbourhood, stepped forward with a pledge of $100,000 and received naming rights.
Tbaytel Tamarack House charges the amount the Northern Health Travel Grant gives and patients don’t have to pay until they are reimbursed, so they’re never out of pocket. The goal is always to ensure there is no cost to regional cancer patients and families.
The loss of a place like Tbaytel Tamarack House could be the deciding factor for someone who needs cancer treatment away from home. It’s more than a hotel room. It’s a place where regional patients can stay and feel safe and supported in their medical journey.
Thousands of regional patients who come to Thunder Bay for treatment every year benefit from Tbaytel’s commitment to take care of its neighbourhood. It’s not every telecom provider that gives back so steadfastly and mindfully to the region it serves. Tbaytel customers can go ahead and feel good about choosing to support Tbaytel, because they’re also choosing to support their community.
Tbaytel Tamarack House’s fee structure and outlook means that it needs help to keep the doors open, with assistance from corporate sponsorships from organizations such as Tbaytel, or donations from individuals, groups or businesses. If you can give, or have a fundraising idea, please contact the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation @ 807-345-4673, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.healthsciencesfoundation.ca/tamarack
Tamarack House: 807-684-7799 | Toll-Free 1-877-696-7223 ext 7799 | email@example.com