Local resident Jim Larsen was sick and in pain. When the local man went to Langley Memorial Hospital last autumn, he was booked for kidney stone removal.
During surgery, Dr. Alexandra Perks biopsied his prostate which revealed aggressive stage 3 cancer.
Larsen’s was one of more than 7,000 surgeries performed at LMH last year.
His experience highlights the hospital’s needs and the reason behind the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation’s Denim and Diamonds gala, to raise funds for capital equipment.
“Right now, we are working without equipment that is considered standard in every other Fraser Health hospital,” explained chief of surgery Dr. Mitra Maharaj.
He added that the hospital is working towards more minimally invasive surgeries because compared to traditional open surgeries, they are safer for patients, are less painful, and people heal quicker.
“Right now we are lacking some key components to our MIS equipment at Langley Memorial. In particular, we need special diagnostic equipment – called a video cystoscope – that allows us to detect cancer when we are doing the type of surgery that was done for Jim,” he said.
LMH is the only Fraser Health hospital without this equipment.
“We have an aging population in our community and that means there are more people who are at higher risk for cancer,” Maharaj explained. “The better we are at detecting those cancers – and the earlier we do so – the better they can be treated. This equipment will help us to do so.”
The Denim and Diamonds, fifth edition, starts with cocktails at 6:15 p.m. on May 17 at the Cascades Casino.
Including members of the general public interested in helping the cause, the event will bring together more than 300 people, including community leaders, stakeholders, hospital physicians, and political figures.
In addition to a gourmet meal and live entertainment, there’s the annual Diamond Dig where people can dig in a sand filled container for prizes. The top prize is a $10,000 piece of jewelry.
A long list of local sponsors cover the gala costs so the funds raised go to the foundation.
The dress code is just like the title says, denim and diamonds (or bling). Tickets are $175 or $1,300 for a table of eight.
Fort Langley’s Mark Forsythe, a former CBC radio host, is emcee and there’s complimentary valet parking.
For information or tickets, go to lmhfoundation.com or call 604-533-6422.