Couple donated $1 million to Sudbury hospice
Laughter through tears is a common experience at Maison McCulloch Hospice when family and friends visit loved ones.
“We did a lot of laughing and joking with Stephen,” remembers Sandra McCulloch, who lost her son in September 2013.
Stephen, 48, battled brain cancer for 18 months. He received care at the Hospice for five weeks before he passed.
“We celebrated his birthday by having a barbecue on the side porch…It was like being at home,” she says.
“Stephen loved fresh peaches, so I would bring him slices every morning when they were available.”
“His wife, Marett, would bring the dog to visit, and she would sometimes spend the night. His friends would take him down to the dock to fish,” says Sandra.
Sandra and Bruce McCulloch gave a $1-million gift to the Hospice because they believe in what it can do for residents and their families. The Hospice was christened Maison McCulloch Hospice to honour their generosity − the largest single donation to the Stand by Me Campaign.
“They presented us with the opportunity to have the Hospice renamed. It took about five minutes to think about it. We feel so positive about it,” says Bruce, a well-known businessman, who owned Cambrian Ford before he retired in 2000 and turned the dealership over to sons, Scott and Stephen.
“We had some family meals in the dining room, the whole family came in. You certainly could not do that in the hospital.
“We didn’t know anything about the Hospice until then. Stephen was looked after so well. The people, from Leo (Therrien) on down, are dedicated.”
“The staff are unbelievable. They are so great,” says Sandra.
Stephen’s brother, Scott, president of Cambrian Ford, and sister, Susan, are supportive the Hospice’s mission and active in fundraising for the Foundation.
A devoted family man, Stephen left behind two children, Montana and Garett. Montana is studying to become a nurse and eventually hopes to become a doctor, say her grandparents. Inspired by her experiences at the Hospice, she has spent summers working there as a personal support worker.
Since opening its doors, the Hospice has cared for more than 1,500 residents and their families, as well as more than 1,000 community clients at their homes. Expansion was needed.
The capital campaign raised funds to add another 16,000 square feet, which will more than double its size, and add an additional 10 beds, bringing the total to 20, including a special pediatric bed that will accommodate children, and respite beds that will be there to give caregivers a break.
Maison McCulloch Hospice services are provided free to patients. In order to do this, it must fundraise more than $1 million annually.
“The service that the Hospice provides to this area is beyond description, for the comfort for the residents and peace of mind for their families,” says Sandra.