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Honouring a Beloved Friend through Philanthropy

Nursing students in York's Nursing Simulation Centre

Nancy’s journey to becoming a donor to York University’s School of Nursing is a poignant and inspiring one. It began with a tragic event that touched her life deeply: the diagnosis of her best friend Marianne with brain cancer. As Marianne's primary caregiver, Nancy navigated the challenges of coordinating visits from doctors, nurses, and personal care workers. During this time, she encountered three student nurses from York University who provided more than just physical care to Marianne; they offered emotional support and encouragement to both Marianne and Nancy.

“Because of this gift, I was able to focus on studying for the month prior to my registration exam without worrying about picking up extra work shifts. I was grateful to have the extra cost lifted off my burdens and the freedom to focus on being successful on my exam. I can’t thank you enough for bringing light to a time when I could have drowned in my stress and contributing so greatly to my future.

— A note of gratitude from nursing student Ashely L, RN* to Nancy R.

These compassionate student caregivers left a lasting impression on Nancy, inspiring her to establish the Marianne S. and Nancy R. Nursing Bursary at York University. This bursary financially supports students in the Faculty of Nursing with no strings attached. Nancy fondly recalls, "One of those students, who was 19 years old at the time, has since become a Registered Nurse and is now on her way to becoming a Registered Nurse Practitioner at age 26. It's truly inspiring."

“I have learned that nursing is much more than a job; we as student nurses can impact patients’ lives forever… We never know how far a kind gesture can go. Thank you for your contribution, and I hope other nursing students and patients feel the impact of your contributions.”

— A note of gratitude from nursing student Kemesha O. to Nancy R.

When asked about her motivations for supporting York's School of Nursing, Nancy shared, "What drew me to York was the incredible impact that the student caregivers had on Marianne's life and mine. I hope this bursary will help nursing students achieve their dreams and make a difference in the lives of many other patients, just like they did for Marianne and me."

Claire Mallette, the director of the School of Nursing, emphasized the importance of student awards for nursing students at York. "Our diverse student population includes many individuals who are the first in their families to pursue secondary education. These students often face financial challenges that can make it difficult to focus on their studies," she explained. "Student awards and bursaries are crucial for supporting these students and helping them overcome barriers to success. The Marianne S. and Nancy R. Nursing Bursary is particularly meaningful because it was created to honour a patient who received compassionate care from York University nursing students. It demonstrates the power of education and the impact our students can have on the lives of others."

Nancy R.’s generosity and the impact of her bursary will undoubtedly change lives and inspire future generations of nursing students at York University. Her story is a testament to the power of philanthropy and the profound difference one person can make in the lives of others.

*name changed to maintain privacy.