Fund subsidizes integrative cancer care for pediatric patients with a childhood cancer diagnosis at the Centre for Health Innovation

We are pleased to announce that the CHEO Foundation has taken over stewardship of The Bryan Murray Legacy Fund from the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre (OICC) Foundation which recently merged with the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine.

The Bryan Murray Legacy Fund was originally established by the OICC Foundation to subsidize integrative cancer care at the OICC for patients in need of financial support. Bryan Murray, former GM of the Ottawa Senators, was a patient of the OICC, and honourary chair of the OICC Foundation’s fundraising campaign Changing How We Live with Cancer. He wished to make integrative care at the OICC available, no matter the financial circumstances. The Legacy Fund was named in his memory.

With the transfer of fund stewardship to the CHEO Foundation, pediatric cancer patients are now able to apply directly to CHEO for subsidies from The Bryan Murray Legacy Fund. This allows eligible CHEO patients to access subsidized integrative cancer care at The Centre for Health Innovation (CHI). Interested patients are to speak with their care team.

“Dad absolutely adored children,” said Brittany Murray, Bryan’s daughter. “He often shared that it was most unfortunate to watch young people receiving chemotherapy. He embraced and absorbed stories of young and old, and kept them catalogued in his mind and his heart. Dad, from the get-go of his diagnosis with colon cancer, was open minded to the integrative cancer care approach. I truly believe he would be delighted about the Fund being extended to provide subsidized integrative care for cancer patients of CHEO.”

Integrative cancer care offered at the CHI (the new home of the OICC) provides a variety of integrative and complementary medicine practices, including naturopathic medicine, acupuncture, functional integrative medicine, nutritional counseling, reflexology, craniosacral therapy, hypnotherapy and yoga therapy. All these therapies are complementary and supportive of hospital-based care.

A cancer diagnosis is extremely difficult for children, adolescents and for their families. Integrative cancer care given concurrently with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy can help to improve a patient’s quality of life and may help to decrease side effects of cancer treatments, supporting physical, mental and emotional well-being.

“About half of the patients with a new diagnosis at CHEO ask their oncologist about integrative cancer care options,” said Dr. Donna Johnston, Chief, Division of Hematology/Oncology at CHEO. “Being able to offer a subsidy for our patients in need of financial support to access integrative care will make a huge difference to families struggling with a diagnosis and wanting access to integrative care.” 

“We are very pleased to collaborate with CHEO for integrative cancer care,” said Dr. Dugald Seely, ND, Founder & CEO at the CHI, and former President of the OICC Foundation. “It is imperative that this care is provided in a manner that is ethical, supportive, safe and in communication with hospital-based clinicians and pharmacists. Working together with CHEO on evidence-based integrative pediatric oncology addresses an important need clearly identified by patients and their families.”

Seely added: “We are also very grateful for the support of the Ottawa Senators, Bryan Murray’s family and all of our donors. Their support of the OICC Foundation has been amazing through the years as we’ve worked together to meet the needs of patients with our subsidized care fund.”

“The CHEO Foundation would like to thank the OICC Foundation and the CHI for working together with us to provide CHEO’s oncology patients and families with access to a full range of traditional and integrative cancer care programs,” said Kevin Keohane, President and CEO at the CHEO Foundation. “We are honoured to take on The Bryan Murray Legacy Fund and to continue on Bryan’s wish to help make integrative cancer care available.”

About The Centre for Health Innovation (CHI):

The CHI provides evidence-informed integrative medicine, research, and education across the spectrum of chronic and acute health care conditions. Our approach emphasizes quality of life, support for the body, care of the spirit, and active prevention of disease. The CHI came into being in October 2020 and is the new home for the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre (OICC) which previously operated as part of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine for nine years.  www.thechi.ca

About the CHEO Foundation:

At the CHEO Foundation, our mission is to advance the physical, mental and social well-being of children and families in eastern and northern Ontario, western Quebec and Nunavut by raising, managing and disbursing funds. Together, as one team, the CHEO Foundation, CHEO, the CHEO Research Institute and Roger Neilson House strive to help all children and youth live their best lives.

Donate here to The Bryan Murray Legacy Fund at the CHEO Foundation

Download the patient brochure

For more information contact:
Heidi Vincent, Centre for Health Innovation, 613-293-3564 or hvincent@thechi.ca
Katrina Bussey, CHEO Foundation, 613-738-3969 or kbussey@cheofoundation.com