West Island alum thinks local

Ray Hasel, with his wife, Brigitte Khouzam, in front of a photographic replica of the Roddick Gates.

Ray Hasel, with his wife, Brigitte Khouzam, in front of a photographic replica of the Roddick Gates.

“McGill is not just a downtown institution,” said Ray Hasel, BSc, MDCM’89. “We do events in New York City, in Los Angeles… why not in the West Island?”

Hasel was standing in the entranceway of popular West Island steakhouse, 40 Westt, which had been transformed, for one September evening, to look like the University’s iconic Roddick Gates.

The event, an interdisciplinary panel discussion for Faculty of Medicine alumni and friends on “McGill’s Cancer Continuum: From the Bench, to the Bedside, to Survivorship,” was Hasel’s brainchild, the second in a series of West Island fundraisers he has organized on behalf of his alma mater. The proceeds of the first, held in fall 2014, went to the Faculty of Engineering. “My wife [Brigitte Khouzam, BA] and I made a gift of $35,000, which was matched by Lorne Trottier [BEng, MEng, DSc].”

To realize the second fundraiser, Hasel, a physician at the CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, and Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesia, McGill University, found a partner in Hans Kau, founder of furniture retailer Mobilia and former McGill parent. “My daughter has fond memories of McGill. And Ray is very persuasive,” said Kau, when asked to explain what had motivated his family to sponsor the event held in support of the Cancer Patient Experience Fund at the McGill Faculty of Medicine.

Panelists Drs. Morag Park, Francisco Asenjo and Carmen Loiselle showcased the Faculty’s contributions to all aspects of cancer research and care, from genetic discoveries in the lab, to effective and compassionate interventions for cancer patients and survivors, as well as for their families.

As moderator Dr. Ari Meguerditchian said, “More and more, it’s about supporting our patients through the cancer-care continuum, which includes being a survivor and living with the chronic conditions. It’s looking at the disease as a patient experience.”

Chauncey Fitzsimmons, B PHYS THER'69, BSc(PT)'79,  catching up with Madeleine Claudi, DIP(P TH)'46.

Chauncey Fitzsimmons, B PHYS THER’69, BSc(PT)’79, catching up with Madeleine Claudi, DIP(P TH)’46.

The discussion attracted alumni from across programs and schools. At one table, Anna Mae Barrett, BScN’70, MEd, chatted with fellow alumna and former Royal Victoria Hospital senior nurse, Sheila O’Neill, DIP NURS T&S PH’66, BN’68. At another, Chauncey Fitzsimmons, B PHYS THER’69, BSc(PT)’79, caught up with Madeleine Claudi, DIP(P TH)’46, who belongs to the second graduating class from the School of Physical & Occupational Therapy. “I would have been the first, but I needed to take an extra year of science first,” said Claudi.

Hasel is planning a third and final event next year to reach out again to the many graduates, students and parents who live and work in the West Island. Stay tuned for more details.

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