A Gorman Family Connection

FAMILY ENDOWMENT

GENERATIONAL GIVING: A GORMAN FAMILY CONNECTION

An enduring vision for Cancer Care at KGH

Carol Gorman (centre), with her siblings (L to R) Mary Tracey, Ron Gorman, and Louise Arkle in front of the photo of their father, Ross Gorman, on the endowment wall at KGH.

A sparkle appears in Carol Gorman’s eyes when she talks about her father, Ross Gorman. And she radiates warmth and affection for him when she shares memories of post-dinner family hikes in the woods near her childhood home in Westbank. 

“I’d often get tired on these hikes and my dad would scoop me up, pop me on his shoulders and carry me the rest of the way,” reflects Carol. “He always made me feel secure and loved.”

Carol and her father Ross were very close and shared a special bond until his passing in 2014. After discovering that her father had established an endowment with the KGH Foundation in support of cancer care at Kelowna General Hospital (KGH), Carol pursued the possibility of adding to his endowment fund. 

“I became interested in what my father had established through this endowment. Since I am also navigating my own cancer journey and have received exceptional care at KGH, I felt this would be a good way to give back to the hospital,” explains Carol. 

And that she did. In late 2023, Carol and several members of her family gathered at the KGH Foundation to celebrate Carol’s significant contribution to enhance the Ross Gorman Endowment Fund and advance priorities in cancer care at KGH. It was a tremendously moving morning as Carol’s family beamed with joy, love and pride for a beloved sister, aunt and great-aunt. 

Dr. Brenda Farnquist, a KGH radiologist, was on hand to thank Carol personally for her generous gift. “These gifts to our hospital—the future of care—truly touch my heart,” Dr. Farnquist says. “They mean so much to all of us, including the radiologists and teams who work in the hospital. We are all working hard to do more, often with less, and this gift is extremely heartfelt and appreciated.” 

Radiology and medical imaging play instrumental roles in cancer diagnosis and follow-up treatments at KGH, including biopsy and surgery. 

“Gifts like this mean so much because they make us—and the hospital—better,” Dr. Farnquist continues. “They lead to new discoveries for faster and more accurate diagnoses, better patient care and ultimately, a healthier community.” 

Allison (Allie) Young, CEO of the KGH Foundation, echoes Dr. Farnquist’s sentiments. “The faith of Ross Gorman and the continuation of his legacy are very special. Carol’s gift will support Dr. Farnquist and all the doctors who diagnose and treat patients with cancer in our hospital,” she says. 

“Physicians and clinicians are the backbone of diagnostic and surgical cancer care delivery at Kelowna General Hospital. It is essential to support their dedication to providing the best possible care for us,” continues Allie. “With this gift to the existing endowment, both Carol and her father Ross will always be alongside patients—and their health care workers—on their journeys.” 

Carol is all too familiar with the journey that many cancer patients are on. “I spent fourteen days at KGH as part of a surgery to remove the cancer from my pancreas,” shares Carol. “The care I received from the doctors and nurses was outstanding—they truly saw me and I felt supported. It was similar to the feeling I would get when my dad carried me on his shoulders during those family hikes—I felt secure.” 

Even though the cancer was removed from Carol’s pancreas, it has spread and she continues to be monitored. The Gorman family is resolute, “Auntie Carol has defied the odds,” says her niece, Nicole. “And we get to witness her generous heart and desire to help others through this gift.” 

Growing up, Carol was keenly aware of her father’s community-oriented nature. Ross Gorman started Gorman Brothers Lumber with his brother John in 1953. As the organization expanded to become the Gorman Group of Companies, Carol observed her father’s commitment to giving back in order to promote a healthier community—whether through community partnerships or the Gorman employee giving program.

“It is a privilege and an honour to be able to make a gift like this,” says Carol. 

We are grateful to Carol Gorman for following in the footsteps of her father and for their investment in a transformative future for cancer care at Kelowna General Hospital and for our whole community. 

This article was written in February 2024. Carol Gorman passed away in April. She will be fondly remembered for optimistic outlook, warm smile and generous heart.

Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) is one of two tertiary hospitals in the Interior Health region. Patients in the Central Okanagan and surrounding area who experience symptoms of cancer are most often referred to KGH for diagnosis and surgical interventions. 

Last spring, the KGH Foundation launched its $40 million Closer to home than you think campaign to help fund the immediate needs and long-term system changes in local health care, both at KGH, and in the community. This year, the focus is on advancing Cancer Care at KGH, ensuring that when this life-altering disease affects you or someone you love, world-class care is available, close to home. 

To learn more about the Cancer Care campaign, read the campaign story.

ENDOWMENTS WITH THE KGH FOUNDATION

Last spring, the KGH Foundation launched its $40 million Closer to home than you think campaign to help fund the immediate needs and long-term system changes in local health care, both at KGH, and in the community. This year, the focus is on advancing Cancer Care at KGH, ensuring that when this life-altering disease affects you or someone you love, world-class care is available, close to home. 

To learn more about the Cancer Care campaign, read the campaign story.

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