A legacy of care

Born at Royal Columbian Hospital in 1928, Roy Brainerd grew up during the Depression. “They were hard times but we always had enough,” Roy remembers. The family home on Harwood Street in North Burnaby boasted abundant vegetable gardens, horses, and a chicken coop.

In 1951, he and his new wife Carol purchased a home for $6,000. They had two mortgages, no furniture, no car, and five dollars a week for groceries. Carol did shift work as a telephone operator and cared for their daughters while Roy worked seven days a week. “You just didn’t have any money. Everybody we knew was in the same boat,” he says.

The years of hard worked continued as they raised their three daughters. Roy eventually retired at 55, and he and Carol took that opportunity to become tireless volunteers in their community for the next 30-plus years, lending their time to causes like Meals on Wheels and the Burnaby Village Museum’s Friends of the Carousel project.

Giving back to their community remains a priority, as they financially support a number of charitable organizations, including Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation. Donors since 1997, they have also chosen to remember the Foundation with a gift in their Wills.

Royal Columbian’s importance hit close to home one day in May a few years back. “I was working in the garden and came inside because I felt a bit funny,” says Roy. “I collapsed and woke up on the kitchen floor.” Roy was rushed to Royal Columbian. It was a blood clot in the lungs. Fortunately, the impact of his fall had dislodged the clot. “I had such good care. It was phenomenal,” says Roy.

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Catherine Cornish, CFRE
Director, Leadership and Legacy Giving
Phone: 604.970.5931
Email: Catherine.cornish@fraserhealth.ca

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