BY ALLIE MURRAY
After dealing with the heartache of losing her husband to cancer, Margaret Anderson opened a cancer hospice in her husband’s name to help support others watching their loved ones battle cancer.
Ian Anderson worked in sales in Mississauga for 15 years before he was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1987. After a long battle, he passed away in November 1990 at home in the care of his wife Margaret and son Stuart. He was 59 years old.
On the seven-year anniversary of her husband’s death she opened Ian Anderson House on Nov. 15, 1997.
Ian Anderson House was the first in-resident cancer hospice in Ontario.
This year marks 20 years since the house opened, and members of the community are left remembering how important the house is to residents in Oakville. Monique Armstrong, executive administrator for Ian Anderson House, described the impact the house has had on the community.
“More than 2,300 people have died in the house, but the larger impact on the community is support for more than 20,000 [people]. The province was the start of a hospice movement to provide the kind of caring we all deserve at the end of life,” Armstrong said.
To remember the 20 years of being a safe place for cancer patients to pass peacefully, as well as be a shoulder to cry on for patients’ families, Ian Anderson House volunteers and employees are hosting an event on Nov. 17 to look back on how the house has benefited the community. Heidi Harrigan, volunteer coordinator at Ian Anderson House, explains what the event will look like.
“The anniversary will be marked with a gala dinner and dance at Credit Valley Golf and Country Club.” She said. “In attendance, we’ll have representatives from community groups, local businesses and corporations who have supported Ian Anderson House over the last 20 years.” Harrigan said.