We arrived home from the arena last night after watching my daughter’s team lose a well-fought battle against their arch-rivals.  Nonetheless, the girls and their parents could not have been more proud as our fatigued team of 7 ringuette players never stopped their efforts against the fresh legs of a 12 player-deep bench. How fitting to turn on the PVR and watch the Habs tribute to Saku Koivu, a determined and courageous leader on and off the ice.  His battle with cancer is well known to Montrealers and hockey fans and it was very moving to witness his final farewell to the NHL at the Bell Centre.  He was overcome with emotion several times during the tribute and reminded us of why his teammates elected him Captain for 9 years.  The leadership of the Montreal Canadiens has been heralded these past weeks with the passing of Mr. Beliveau and the recounting of Saku’s exceptional career.  How he defied the odds in Finland to become the first European Captain of the Canadiens Hockey Club.  I also learned how Saku’s primary goal after his return to the arena, was not on the ice and had nothing to do with hockey but it was to bring a PET Scanner to the Island of Montreal.  Yes, you heard correctly.  Montreal, Canada’s second most populous city did not have this medical technology that identifies the presence of cancerous cells.   How could that be?  Talk about emotion!!  At first, I was surprised, then angry and then I just felt sad, a deep sadness-the home of the Montreal General Hospital, the teaching hospital for McGill University and L’hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont,  known for specializing in the treatment of oncology, did not have a PET Scanner in 2002.  Not until Saku.  He raised the $7,000,000 price tag and brought this much needed medical technology to his adopted home.  As a Habs fan, I felt proud to listen once again to his stories of leadership on and off the ice, of his compassion for children and his love for hockey.  As a Montrealer, a Quebecer and Canadian, I feel gratitude for his recognition of the challenges we face in accessing healthcare (see my previous post about MedTech Adoption) and his determination to solve an immediate problem.  Thank you, Saku.


— Ela Borenstein


Ela Borenstein

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1 Comment

  • bettinakarpel

    December 19, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Fortunately for me, the PET scanner was available when I needed it in 2005. I can’t imagine the additional stress I would have felt if I had had to travel outside of Montreal for testing. Thank you Saku Koivu!