Trees of Caring – A story that inspired us all

I was covered in mud and sitting at the back of a school bus when I heard a story I’d never forget. 

It’s a story of love and exceptional patient care that happened because of the support of generous people like you. As Cambridge Memorial Hospital Foundation’s Executive Director, I love sharing stories like this one. I am always inspired when families in our Community experience the profound impact of donations at work. 

Our Foundation exists to inspire investment in our Hospital, and this story I’m sharing with you, inspired all of us within earshot on the bus that day. 

Now let’s start from the beginning. My colleagues and I had entered a mud sport event in nearby Hamilton, and we were full of adrenaline (and mud) after completing the run. Thankfully with no injuries or bruised egos!  

So here we were, proudly wearing our Cambridge Memorial Hospital (CMH) Champion t-shirts, that started out bright blue… and were now a dull muddy green. Little did we know that this memorable team building experience would lead us to an encounter that touched our hearts and reminded us of the significant role of Cambridge Memorial Hospital in the lives of those we serve. 

While on the bus travelling back to our cars, a woman seated near us inquired if we were indeed from CMH. To be honest, she initially seemed hesitant, not knowing for sure if she should share her story — with strangers who looked messy. Our curiosity and friendly smiles must have boosted her courage. She then revealed something that left us speechless and profoundly moved. 

Our fellow passenger explained that her mother had been in end-of-life care at our Hospital, and during that difficult time, our nurses, personal support workers and others involved in her mother’s care had made an incredible difference. We could tell this was still very fresh in her mind. 

Her care team discovered that singing to her brought comfort and most importantly calmness. They did this on their own initiative. In her heartfelt and deeply personal testimony, she shared how her mother, often very agitated and frightened, finally found solace and tranquility during her stay.

Our care team made up of nurses, personal support workers and others, took it upon themselves to sing to a patient. 

This left us speechless, with a virtual lump in our throats, but so full of gratitude for our CMH colleagues. I could almost picture the difference this small gesture might have made to a member of my own family, if in a similar situation. 

That’s the real experience of one woman who coincidentally shared a bus ride with our muddy team. Thanks to the compassionate care provided at CMH, her mother’s passing was peaceful and serene. 

Our teams do so much thanks to your generous and ongoing support — like supporting our need for a new MRI to serve the Cambridge community. I think it is also important to remind you as one of our most committed donors that all CMH equipment, including the MRI, is purchased by the community with funds raised by the CMH Foundation. Your gift today helps to make these purchases happen. That’s the reality. 

This daughter’s decision to share her unsolicited and genuine account with us felt good and was a reminder of the profound impact we have on the lives of those we serve. Your support makes obtaining a new MRI for our community one step closer to being a reality. Imagine the number of lives changed and saved, that this new MRI will bring to all our family, friends, and neighbours. The value it will bring to patients and families is priceless. 

This connection meant a lot to me and my team that day. Her testimony honoured the CMH care team and her mom — the exact meaning behind Trees of Caring! 

As members of the Cambridge and North Dumfries Community, many of us view CMH as more than just a Hospital. It is a place that witnesses our first hellos, mends our broken bones as we stumble, grow, and learn, and ultimately becomes the setting for our final goodbyes to cherished family and friends. 

This bond we share is strengthened by the fact that together, we can ensure that our Hospital has the very best for all of us, when we need it most. 

Your unwavering commitment and financial support provide us with strength. Please consider a special Trees of Caring gift by giving online today. As we embark on this year’s Season of Caring celebrating the 35-year tradition of Trees of Caring honouring those who have made a profound impact on our lives, I wanted to extend my heartfelt gratitude for your continued support. 

Your commitment to our cause goes beyond monetary contributions; it is a testament to the connection we share as members of this incredible Community. Let’s make this 35th year, the year that we raise more than we ever have, so that our Community’s new MRI becomes a reality. I know we can do this… together! 

Whose life will you touch, whose journey will you make a little easier, and whose story will you forever etch in the tapestry of our Community? Choose to support us with a donation for a virtual light on our Tree of Caring string of lights, or any value of support. It’s your choice! 

Once again, on behalf of the entire CMH Foundation team and those we serve, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your generosity, compassion and unwavering support empower us to continue making a difference every day. 


Lisa Short 

Executive Director 

Lisa Short

happy mud run participants

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