Medicine Hat’s Margery Yuill, pictured here, was a nurse, a community activist and a loving mom. She was instrumental in setting up the local YWCA and supported the Red Cross and the Salvation Army before her death in 1965. In 2011, her son businessman Bill Yuill made a $2-million donation through the Yuill Family Foundation to the Alberta Cancer Foundation in honour of Margery’s memory. Family friends Gerry and Beverly (Simmons) Berkhold, donated $1 million, too.
These donations allow the facility, now called the Margery E. Yuill Cancer Centre, to offer a clinical trials program, making Medicine Hat the first smaller community in Alberta to offer trials. Clinical trials evaluate new cancer drugs and other treatments for safety and effectiveness. They provide researchers with valuable information and offer patients the chance for a cure or an improvement in quality of life that can’t be attained through standard treatments. The clinical trials unit at the Margery E. Yuill Cancer Centre will be able to offer as many as six trials at a time, adding 20 to 30 new patients each year.
“This is the chance of a lifetime,” says Dr. Marc Trudeau, Medical Director of the centre. “It will mean the people of Medicine Hat and surrounding areas will have access, through clinical trials, to cancer-fighting drugs they would not normally get access to. We are extremely grateful for this opportunity.”