A lasting gift to St. Joseph’s
Peggy North has been supporting St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation with annual gifts since 1989. But when her husband Karl passed away she chose to make a lasting gift to St. Joseph’s.
“I live in the moment and if I can help others then I do. I have done this in my business and for people on the street, but finally, now it is my turn to give back to the Hospital.”
Peggy’s story begins in 1942 – born during the middle years of the Second World War. Her mother, who worked at the Vienna Opera House in the makeup room prior to the war, had fled her home country of Austria as the military conflict grew. Finding refuge in England, she would soon meet Peggy’s father, a Scottish man who had volunteered to join the British Army. Unfortunately, Peggy never had the opportunity to meet her father as he became a casualty of the war.
Life continued to be difficult for Peggy during her early years. At the age of 11 she developed a cyst on her lung, which required surgery at a London hospital. Although the procedure was successful, a reaction to the anesthetic left her deaf in both ears; requiring her to wear hearing aids.
But her disability hasn’t slowed her down.
She says, “When your objective in life is to help people then it takes the focus off your own situation.”
In June 1960, Peggy, along with her mother, left a post-war Europe and immigrated to Canada with merely a suitcase in their possession.
“I have suffered emotionally and physically, but I have discovered that you are happiest when you have the least,” she adds. “I am eternally grateful for what this country has provided me with.”
Many years later, Peggy is still caring for others.
With her giving attitude, Peggy named St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation the beneficiary of her Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). Upon her passing, a sizeable sum will support the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.
Grateful for the care she has received, she also credits the medical staff at St. Joe’s with saving her husband’s life on at least three occasions. From extending his life after battling bladder cancer, to doing emergency surgery on a ruptured appendix, to diagnosing a persistent cough related to a form of pneumonia, Peggy says her husband wouldn’t have lived as long as he did without the services of the Hospital and the Firestone Institute.
“Donating my RRSP is one way that I can give back. I also know that it will be put to good use.”
She adds, “As you accumulate possessions one needs to realize that they are on loan to you. And when you leave this world you cannot take them with you.”