“My ability to continue providing answers to patients’ questions is because of donors like you.”
Dear Friend of the Health Sciences Centre Foundation,
Canada has among the highest rates of multiple sclerosis (MS)—a disabling disease of the central nervous system that causes life-altering, lifelong symptoms—in the world, and the Prairie Provinces are hit particularly hard. By the time you have finished reading this letter, someone in the world will be diagnosed with MS. By the end of today, 12 more Canadians will be diagnosed with MS. This may not surprise you; you may immediately think of a loved one with MS—you may even have yourself in mind.
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Dr. Ruth Ann Marrie, and I am the Director of the MS Clinic at HSC Winnipeg. I have been studying MS for almost 20 years. Raised in Nova Scotia, my studies and training took me to Québec and Ohio before I was recruited to Manitoba nearly 15 years ago. I was fortunate to be recruited here, not only because of the provincial MS program and research opportunities, but because my research directly benefits from the generosity of Manitobans.
Considering your previous support of the HSC Foundation, I write to you with sincere gratitude. Since I began working at HSC, HSC Foundation donors have awarded nearly a total of $50,000 in grants to accelerate MS research led by my group. This support allowed me to develop the methods that I have used for the subsequent 15 years, such as a method to better identify people with MS in large health care databases. Further, this support has provided additional credibility for my work, allowing me to successfully compete for funding from the MS Society of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, bringing millions of dollars into Manitoba for MS research.
From treating patients in the clinic, to teaching resident doctors, to seeing patients in clinical trials, research is just one of my many roles, and it is among the most integral. Often when I am in the clinic, I see somebody who’s newly diagnosed and they’re wondering what the risk is of passing MS onto their children. My ability to answer that comes from research involving Canadians with MS. The ability to offer people disease-modifying therapies that reduce the risk of disease relapse and reduce worsening of disability is because of research. My ability to continue providing answers to patients’ questions is because of donors like you.
HSC Foundation grants are the result of donors who have made a planned gift. A planned gift is a gift in your will to a cause you cherish. These gifts come from people from all walks of life and are crucial in helping HSC advance medical research and health care excellence.
I hope that you will consider making a planned gift to the HSC Foundation. Your gifts thus far have helped change—and save—lives. Your planned gift will ensure that the researchers of today can help save lives for generations to come.
I want to thank you for supporting the HSC Foundation, and I encourage you to learn more about planned giving options by contacting Irma McKenzie, the HSC Foundation’s Director of Gift Planning, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 204-515-5624, or 1-800-679-8493 (toll-free).
Ruth Ann Marrie, MD, PhD, FRCPC, FCAHS
Director, Multiple Sclerosis Clinic
Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg