Kidney transplant patient donates $1 million to LHSC
September 21, 2022
LONDON, Ont. – London Health Sciences Foundation (LHSF) is proud to announce a $1 million gift from Keith and Leanne Lavergne (pictured) of Lasalle, Ontario in support of the Division of Urology at London Health Sciences Centre. Keith, a grateful patient of Dr. Alp Sener, wanted to give back to the care team and hospital that helped save his life and give him so much more than money could ever buy – time with his loved ones.
This transformational gift will establish the Keith and Leanne Lavergne and Family Chair in Urology, which will ultimately bolster the research and development needs of the division to help more patients like Keith get the care they need, when they need it for years to come.
“The Lavergne Chair will enable us to carry out cutting edge research, including moonshot projects in areas including fundamental sciences, clinical trials, quality improvement and in surgical education,” said Dr. Alp Sener, Lavergne Chair and chief of urology. “Ultimately, these research projects have the potential to make a great impact on patient care in the future, but without funding, they are not possible.”
The Lavergne Chair will also have the potential to support annual catalyst research grants as well as sustainable fellowship programs within the Division of Urology for specialty areas like transplant, oncology, men’s health, functional urology, endourology and minimally invasive surgery, which will elevate the division both academically and clinically for the betterment of patient care in the future.
“I’m honoured to be the inaugural holder of this Chair and I am inspired by Keith and Leanne’s generosity,” said Dr. Sener. “My goal is to ensure that our division is prepared for the future and that it continues to set standards as a national leader in research, education and academics. I’m confident the Keith and Leanne Lavergne and Family Chair in Urology will help us achieve that.”
The Division of Urology was established in 1954 and has played a strong role in the Department of Surgery since then. There are 14 faculty covering a variety of disciplines in adult and paediatric urology including but not limited to oncology, minimally invasive surgery and robotics, endourology reconstruction, andrology, functional urology as well as transplantation.
As part of the Keith and Leanne Lavergne and Family Chair in Urology, support will also be provided for faculty development and for Masters of Surgery fellowship research projects to continue strengthening the talented medical team right here in London.
“It is through Keith and Leanne’s generosity that change is possible for the Division of Urology,” said John MacFarlane, president and CEO at LHSF. “Today they have created hope for the future. I look forward to seeing the great things that come from the creation of the Lavergne Chair.”
After overcoming a personal hardship and a trying health battle, Keith and Leanne felt compelled to give back to London Health Sciences Centre in honour of the care Keith received from Dr. Sener and his team. With a staggering number of people in Canada living with kidney disease, the Lavergne’s hope their gift can help future patients get the exceptional care Keith did, for generations to come.
“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,” said Keith Lavergne. “Over the next 10 years, you are going to see some remarkable strides being made from the research being done through the Lavergne Chair. We just hope our gift can help save more people that are living with kidney disease now and in the future.”
About London Health Sciences Foundation (LHSF)
As the charitable arm of London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), we at London Health Sciences Foundation (LHSF) strive to enhance the standard of care for patients at our hospital. With your generosity, we support the development of critical initiatives such as groundbreaking research, state-of-the-art equipment, specialized care with personalized treatment options and the education of our next generation of clinicians. Through the hope and kindness of our donors, the health and lives of patients at LHSC are improved today as well as tomorrow. We honour your compassion with gratitude, steward with respect and report with honesty, transparency and accountability. To see how donations make extraordinary care possible, visit lhsf.ca.