September 22nd, 2022

// QEII Foundation announces $20-million transformational gift for cancer care at the QEII Health Sciences Centre

QEII Foundation announces $20-million transformational gift for cancer care at the QEII Health Sciences Centre

Halifax, NS, Sept. 22, 2022 /CNW/ - Health-care philanthropy is shining bright today as the QEII Foundation announces a $20-million gift, its largest, single donation received to date.

The MacDonald family donated $20 million to the QEII Foundation to help transform cancer care at the QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax, N. S., the specialized referral centre for the Atlantic provinces.

This gift will support advanced cancer care technology, such as personalized radiotherapy, a world's first cancer-fighting technology being developed at the QEII. The family's generous support will also be a catalyst for enabling future innovation and discovery opportunities to happen sooner. This will help contribute to delivering care differently, improving access and patient outcomes, reducing wait times, and attracting and retaining the brightest minds in medicine.   

In honour of their late parents, Colin and Belle MacDonald, the MacDonald family's tribute gift will name a new cancer care centre being developed as part of QEII New Generation.

With a vision of integrated, advanced care delivered in a supportive, healing environment, the new cancer centre will be a beacon of hope for patients and families and exemplify the commitment to deliver compassionate, innovative health care. The MacDonald family shares a similar commitment, as health-care connections run deep in their family.

The matriarch of the family, Belle, spent her career caring for others, as head nurse for many years at the former Halifax Infirmary hospital. In addition to caring for hundreds of patients and families, Belle raised her seven children while working long hours and stretching every dollar. 

Her strength, perseverance, and giving nature was instilled in the MacDonald children, who are proud to honour both of their parents with this lead gift. 

Earlier this year, the QEII Foundation launched its We Are campaign, a $100-million campaign to transform health care at the QEII. Supporting many care areas, such as diagnostic imaging, mental health care, rehabilitation, heart health, cancer care, and surgical robotics, the We Are campaign will truly elevate clinical excellence at the QEII to new heights.

Quick Facts

  • The Nova Scotia Health Cancer Care Program at the QEII cares for patients from across Nova Scotia and the Maritime provinces. The Centre is responsible for delivering safe, equitable and sustainable cancer care services; the full continuum of cancer care from prevention and early detection through to screening, diagnosis, treatment, survivorship, palliative, and end-of-life care.
  • Personalized radiotherapy is a new way to deliver radiotherapy to patients. Through research and development, QEII experts will help develop an advanced model of adaptive, personalized radiotherapy technology that will be first in the world.
    • The goal is to allow health-care teams to evolve, adapt and re-map a patient's unique treatment plan in real time – using unparalleled imaging quality – before each radiation treatment session begins. This means targeting radiation beams with unprecedented accuracy; completely personalized based on the shape and movement of the patient's tumour and anatomy mere minutes before their treatment begins.
  • The MacDonald family is coming together with a $20-million transformational gift to the QEII Foundation in honour of their late parents, Colin and Belle MacDonald.
    • This gift is the largest, single donation ever received by the QEII Foundation.
  • The QEII Foundation's $100-million We Are campaign marks a once-in-a-generation opportunity to address some of the biggest issues in health care. Better access to care, first-in the-world technologies, improving wait times and patient outcomes, with research and innovation intersecting every project.
  • QEII Foundation donors have already raised more than $52 million toward the $100-million campaign goal. So far, some of the campaign milestones include:
    • Atlantic Canada's first surgical robot (endometrial, prostate, kidney, ENT cancer surgeries)
    • Interventional Radiology Suites (the most minimally-invasive procedures possible at the QEII)
    • Genetic sequencing technology (DNA analysis to provide targeted cancer care, reducing unnecessary treatments)
    • E-mental health services (accessed by anyone, at any time)
  • The We Are campaign will leverage the provincial government's commitment to the QEII New Generation project; a massive, multi-year project that's laying out how the province will meet the healthcare needs of Nova Scotians by developing new buildings and spaces to deliver care.


"The QEII Foundation is so grateful to work with the MacDonald family on this transformational gift and their wish to create a lasting legacy to their late parents, Colin and Belle. The MacDonald family's $20-million transformational gift for cancer care will raise the bar in delivering the world's best cancer care, right here at home. While we have reached an amazing milestone for the Foundation – our largest, single donation to date – the real impact and measurement of that milestone is the lives changed and lives saved as a result of the family's generosity."
 - Susan Mullin, president and CEO, QEII Foundation  

"Our family is very proud to be able to make this donation in memory of our parents, Colin and Belle MacDonald. Mom and dad were hard-working parents who loved all their seven children unconditionally. We didn't have much growing up, but we were rich with love of family. The new Colin and Belle MacDonald Family Cancer Centre at the QEII will help deliver the best cancer care, right here in Halifax. Our family is very proud to attach our name to something that will have such a positive impact and will mean so much to so many families in Atlantic Canada."
- The MacDonald family

"The MacDonald family's investment is truly remarkable. It will help the QEII Cancer Centre's health-care teams advance cancer care for earlier detection, better treatment options, and improve survivorship with better, long-term outcomes. A donation like this, dedicated to innovation approaches and technology, will move us into a future state much faster than we could ever have imagined. Donations like this are truly remarkable and will inspire our teams to deliver cancer care in new ways. This is our time to do innovative things and come up with those solutions that will transform care here and be seen globally as a North Star." 
- Dr. Gail Tomblin Murphy, Vice President, Research, Innovation and Discovery, Nova Scotia Health

Additional Resources, which includes access to:         

  • Announcement video
  • Artist rendering of Colin and Belle MacDonald Family Cancer Centre
  • MacDonald sibling photo



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