Patient gratitude inspires seasonal fundraising campaign supporting Guelph General Hospital

Bruce ‘Barks’ Barker, radio announcer for CJOY/ Magic 106.1, champions The Foundation of Guelph General Hospital’s 2022 seasonal campaign to help raise funds for the Hospital’s highest priority patient care needs.

Barker has worked as a radio and sports announcer his entire career. He credits Guelph General for saving his life and his livelihood.

In 2016, Barker was driving when he suffered a stroke that impaired his ability to speak. Barker shared, “Losing your voice is hard for anyone. But for me, my voice is how I make my living.”

Registered Nurse, Cassady Rotondi works in the stroke unit at Guelph General. She comments, “As you can imagine, having a stroke is really frightening—you lose the ability to do a lot of things — and recovery can be a long process. But I tell all my patients, “we’re facing this challenge together.”

Guelph General Hospital is one of the only two dedicated stroke centres in the region.

It’s critically important that stroke treatment begins quickly. With care from the stroke unit, speech and occupational therapists, and a lot of hard work, Barker was able to work his way back into the CJOY/Magic studio a year later. “It was pretty emotional to be back behind a mic. The good thing about starting work at four in the morning is there’s no one around to see you cry,” he noted.

“Bruce’s story is so powerful because we can all relate,” said Alicia Robertson, Chair of The Foundation of GGH Board of Directors. “Stroke impacts so many people. We are incredibly fortunate to have access to this level of care right here in our community.” She adds, “As our population grows as well as ages, the needs grow too. Each dollar that is donated helps to save lives and improve health.”

The Foundation launched their seasonal fundraising campaign on Monday, November 14th. Contributions will help the Hospital to acquire important items such as surgical equipment and to set up new in-patient rooms. The campaign includes a series of letters to current and potential new supporters. Donations are also accepted online here, by phone at 519-837-6422, or by cheque payable to The Foundation of GGH mailed to 115 Delhi Street, Guelph, ON N1G 4J4.

Barker says he feels grateful to have Guelph General. “During every broadcast, I say to my listeners, “support the hospital that saved my life.”