"Both of us have had life-threatening illnesses. We are very thankful and impressed by the health community that took care of us and continue to do so,” Nancy said.
Nancy is a breast cancer survivor, while Charles is a kidney transplant recipient. Having benefitted from quality local care, they realized the importance of having skilled doctors provide care throughout Saskatchewan.
While updating their wills, the Weisdorffs sought to leave a lasting impact with their giving. In gratitude for the care they received, they decided to support medical students through a planned estate gift.
“We wanted to make what we left behind matter,” Nancy said. “Through our experiences—the dedication, compassion and the service that they (healthcare community) provided to us—we decided we would like to give back.”
The Weisdorffs’ gift will help remove the financial barriers for deserving students to pursue medical school.
“If students have the drive, desire and calling, but don't have the money, we want to help them with financial support. We look at this as helping somebody who already has the motivation and dedication to hard work, to answer their calling of becoming a doctor,” said Nancy.
The Weisdorffs sought to further enhance their donation by establishing a student award, which provides financial assistance to a first-year student from Saskatchewan or one of the northern Canadian territories. They set up the award in honour and celebration of the 20th anniversary of Charles’ kidney transplant this year.
Charles stated, “l have lived and enjoyed life more fully in these past twenty years than ever before.” He has nothing but high praise and gratitude for the doctors and other medical staff who have been involved in his health care.
Students come from across the province to attend the College of Medicine and more than half of all graduates remain in Saskatchewan. Some return to serve the communities where they were raised or trained.
The Weisdorffs’ decision to make a positive difference in the lives of students extends beyond medical school. The student bursary will have a direct impact for learners today, while the planned gift will leave a legacy for tomorrow.
“Saskatchewan has given us so much. We feel very fortunate in making our lives here and so we want to give back to this province,” Nancy said. “To us, it's an investment in the people and the communities that they're going to serve.”
This story first appeared in the 2021 edition of Connective Issue