John Andrews Foundation Donation Making a Real Difference in the Lives of Local Cancer Patients

Published Tuesday, April 2, 2024

John Andrews Foundation Donation Making a Real Difference in the Lives of Local Cancer Patients

John Andrews built his wealth in this community from 1938 to 1969 and has been giving it back to Thunder Bay for over 45 years. His Foundation, founded in 1977, has distributed over $7 million in grants to more than 100 charities and non-profit organizations across the northwest region.  

Cancer patients in Thunder Bay and the region are the latest beneficiaries of the John Andrews Foundation's generosity. It has donated $500,000 towards the addition and replacement of radiation equipment to treat patients here at the Regional Cancer Centre.

It was 12 years ago when the Cancer Centre was fully updated with new, state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment equipment through the Exceptional Cancer Care Campaign. Since this time, the number of cancer patients has grown substantially. So, too, must the cancer program.

The Exceptional Cancer Care Campaign is returning to raise funds to add a third linear accelerator (LINAC) to the cancer centre, as well as replacing the ageing PET/CT, CT Scanner and, eventually, the two existing LINACs and the mobile cancer screening motor coach.

The PET CT helps find a tumour and determine whether it is cancerous and, if so, the details of the tumour to help determine the appropriate surgery, chemo or radiation treatment plan for the patient. The CT Scanner provides high resolution images of the cancer tumour. The linear accelerator provides targeted high dose radiation therapy to treat the tumour itself, protecting nearby healthy tissue.

John Andrews set up his Foundation to donate to causes that mattered most to him - education, healthcare, social welfare and the arts. Board Chair Allan McKitrick, who knew John personally, said it is a pleasure to be helping maintain exceptional cancer care locally. “John would be very happy to be assisting to get this sophisticated equipment for cancer patients here and around the region, helping eliminate the stress of having to travel elsewhere for their treatment.” He added, “The Hospital was one of John's favourite targets for donations and he would be proud of what the Regional Cancer Centre is doing.”

Since 1996, the Health Sciences Foundation has received $1.85 million in donations from the John Andrews Foundation, supporting projects like the new Hospital (which is now celebrating its 20th Anniversary), Exceptional Cancer Care and the Our Hearts at Home Cardiovascular Surgery Campaign.

“We appreciate the incredible generosity of the John Andrews Foundation – we never take it for granted,” said Glenn Craig, President and CEO of the Health Sciences Foundation. “We know there will be huge impacts for the many new and repeat cancer patients receiving exceptional care and here at home. They are giving more than just money – they're giving HOPE.”

For over 45 years, the John Andrews Foundation has supported initiatives that share our values and enhance the well-being of Northwestern Ontario communities. It focuses on impact and making a real difference in the lives of local people.

Founder John Andrews is a classic example of the self-made man. He was a man with a deep social conscience. His creation of the John Andrews Foundation in 1977 was the product of his role over three decades as a business leader and an extension of his selfless contribution to causes dedicated to the well-being of this community.

John passed away in 1986. His wife Rita sat on the Foundation Board and was highly supportive of it. When Rita passed, the residue of John's Estate was vested in the Foundation, which has donated $7-million to community-based projects across Northwestern Ontario to date.

 To learn more about John Andrews and his Foundation's contributions, visit


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