After 12 hours of fundraising on the air and hearing hundreds of stories from patients and hospital staff, the 13th annual Radiothon for Life in support of the St. Joseph's Hospital Foundation has raised $185,683.81 towards a new MRI machine for southeast Saskatchewan. 

"I feel amazingly grateful to the community, to the staff, to everybody here. The whole southeast of Saskatchewan amazes me every time, anytime we come out to the community for any kind of support, they are there unbelievably, and yet they've done it again," executive director of the foundation, Lori Gervais, expressed.

The event saw hundreds of donors flocking to St. Joseph's Hospital to show their support by donating and telling their stories, further stressing the need for MRI services in the area. "Hearing the patient stories really hits home. It gives us that motivation to really work with Lori and the foundation to really raise that money so we can provide that service to the community; a service that they deserve to have in their community," St. Joseph's Hospital Executive Director Candace Kopec added. 

Due to the excessive winds passing through the southeast yesterday, the decision to move the event indoors was made last minute. However, that didn't stop donors from heading into the hospital to donate to the cause. A barbecue lunch and dinner was provided by Southern Plains Co-op and a raffle for two e-bikes, courtesy of the Estevan Market Mall, was held. 

The money raised will be added to the more than $3.1 million already donated to the project. $2 million was committed by Elaine Walkom, a business owner in Estevan who lost her husband in 2017 to cancer. She noted that she had been pushing for an MRI to be installed in Estevan for three years, and that she wishes for it to be available soon. 

"I wanted a legacy for my husband, Grant. He was a kind, generous, hard-working man. He died from cancer in 2017, so we certainly had our share of MRI's, travel and stress that many people people are facing as we speak. This donation is to say thank you to all the people and all the companies that supported Hank's [Maintenance] and made our business successful. Without that success, this donation wouldn't be possible. So Grant would be 100% behind this donation to make people's lives easier and make medical help more accessible for everyone," Walkom shared in a previous interview. 

People can continue to donate at The full scope of the project is marked at $6.5 million. This includes the cost of the MRI machine, construction, staffing and training. The proposal, including the breakdown of the expenses and the average wait times in the southeast health division, can be found here.