Kathy Kurmey knows what it’s like to leave the province for advanced medical imaging. Her daughter Courtney was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma one week before her 14th birthday. Six months after she completed her first round of chemotherapy, the cancer was back, and she required a PET-CT scan.

Courtney and Kathy Kurmey

Because Saskatchewan didn’t have one, the family travelled to Edmonton, and thought they would have to pay for the scan on top of travel and hotel expenses. “I thought, ‘How are we going to do this?’” remembers Kurmey, a mother of three.

Picture This! Earlier diagnosis and faster treatment for patients and their families who need it!

The Royal University Hospital Foundation’s PICTURE THIS! Campaign, which officially launched September 25, is bringing the most advanced medical imaging technology to Saskatchewan: Positron Emission Tomography – Computer Tomography, or PET-CT, scans produce three-dimensional images of processes inside the body, which provide clinical information that is not available from diagnostic tests such as X-ray or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) exams.

PET-CT is part of a larger vision for Saskatchewan to provide excellence in nuclear medicine, research and training. Plans are underway for the production of medical isotopes used in PET-CT scans to be produced by the cyclotron at the University of Saskatchewan.

The cyclotron is part of the $30 million Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation that was announced in March of last year. Having such a facility, including the PET-CT scanner, will make the U of S a preferred destination for highly skilled physicians, nuclear medicine radiologists and staff.

Picture This! Saskatchewan’s first PET-CT and Molecular Imaging Clinical Research Centre at RUH will attract the industry’s brightest and best while providing the most advanced medical imaging technology!

“By bringing the first PET-CT to the province, we will be significantly improving the level of health care that we are able to provide to the people of Saskatchewan. By providing the necessary infrastructure, we can help attract the best physicians, technologists, physicists, radio pharmacists and researchers in the field of nuclear medicine,” says Dr. Paul Babyn, Department Head of Diagnostic Imaging and Nuclear Medicine. “That will help keep us on the cutting edge of research advancements.”

The province of Saskatchewan is investing $4 million in PET-CT on top of the $2.5 million from the PICTURE THIS! Campaign, $500,000 of which is earmarked for research and education.

Picture This! PotashCorp has agreed to match your donation! The Foundation is partnering with PotashCorp, which has committed to match, dollar-for-dollar, donations up to $1 million! This means your donation goes twice the distance to ensure access to modern diagnostic and medical care.

“PotashCorp has built a legacy of giving and this match further builds on that legacy,” says Arla Gustafson, CEO of RUH Foundation. “Together with PotashCorp, we can strengthen the roots of our community by ensuring everyone has access to cutting edge diagnostic and medical care.”

At 19, Courtney has been healthy for the past three years and hasn’t needed further treatments. Kathy is grateful her daughter could have the PET-CT scan. Around 300 patients are funded by the Ministry of Health to have PET/CT scans outside of the Province each year. When the Saskatoon PET/CT is operational, it’s anticipated that more than 2,000 patients will benefit from the scanner each year.

“Having a PET-CT at RUH will mean so much to my family and families like mine,” says Kurmey. “It’s hard enough coming to a hospital every day – it’s even tougher when you have to do a lot of travelling.”

If you wish to donate to the PICTURE THIS! Campaign and have that donation matched by PotashCorp, please visit www.ruhf.org or call (306) 655-1984.