Grateful transplant patient donates $1M to LHSC with thanks to hospital care team

A former patient is thanking the London, Ont., staff and care team at the London Health Science Centre with a $1-million donation following his lifesaving procedure.

Keith Lavergne, a kidney transplant recipient, and his wife Leanne of Lasalle, Ont., want to keep hope alive through their “transformational gift” in establishing the Keith and Leanne Lavergne and Family Chair in Urology.

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Lavergne says the Chair will advance research and development needs in helping more patients like him get the care that they need for years to come.

“It’s about giving hope to people that are losing hope,” he said. “The research is one side of it, where we can make medical advancements by donating this money to a great team of people, and I’m more than happy to do it because this is gonna save a life. And if it does, even just one, then I will be thrilled.”

Additionally, the Lavergne Chair will also work to support annual catalyst research grants as well as sustainable fellowship programs within the hospitals Division of Urology for specific areas like transplant, oncology, men’s health, minimally invasive surgery and more.

Dr. Alp Sener, chief of urology who preformed Lavergne’s transplant surgery, said the overall goal of the Lavergne Chair is to adequately prepare for the future.

“It’s really quite an honor to have Keith and Leanne want to donate to our division like this,” he started. “In both inspiration as well monetary value, it is going to allow us to do things that we never could have expected to do and wish to do.

“I think it’s really going to accelerate the research that’s done within our division,” he continued, “not only in transplantation, but in so many other disciplines within urology, both in adults and pediatric.”

Through the large donation, support will also be provided for faculty development and for Masters of Surgery fellowship research projects in “strengthening the talented medical team right here in London.”

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“It means so much, not only to the Foundation, but perhaps more importantly to the hospital and to the region because a transformational gift like this creates change, and Keith and Leanne are truly inspired to do exactly that,” said John MacFarlane, president and CEO at the London Health Science Foundation. “We know that Keith is really passionate about making change and helping people through their health care journey.”

Lavergne said that even beyond research advancements, he also hopes their donation will inspire others to do a similar thing.

“There’s an awful lot of people out there that can help, they just don’t know that it’s needed,” he said. “We just hope our gift can help save more people that are living with kidney disease now and in the future.”

“We always came back to the word hope,” said Leanne Lavergne.

“Hope is a powerful motivator, and it gives you the ability to fight on,” Keith Lavergne added.

The Lavergne family.

The Lavergne family.

London Health Science Foundation (LHSF)

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