Many donors have deeply personal reasons for supporting the Tomorrow Stems From You® campaign. Tony Gatto and his family are prime examples.
Tony and his family hosted the inaugural Mike Gatto Memorial Golf Tournament in 2016. In just four years, the event has raised $135,000 for the Tomorrow Stems From You® campaign. The campaign is supporting the purchase of essential equipment and patient amenities, in addition to funding a portion of the cost to build an expanded and dedicated clinical area for stem cell transplants.
The tournament’s namesake, Mike Gatto, had an extensive patient journey with Hamilton Health Sciences. He was 38 years old when he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 1996, a type of cancer that is manageable but not curable. At the time of his diagnosis, he was given two years to live.
In an attempt to extend his life, Mike underwent a stem cell transplant, with cells donated from his mother.
The transplant was successful, and although he faced many setbacks throughout the years, Mike attributed his resiliency to the support of loved ones and his belief that “faith, family and friends are the essentials of life.”
Mike went on to live for 20 more years before passing away in February 2016.
Tony describes his brother Mike as a “beacon of hope to those fighting the same battle.” To carry on Mike’s legacy, the Gatto family established the Mike Gatto Memorial Golf Tournament to raise funds for the Hematology Program at Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre, and to raise awareness of the importance of stem cell donations.
Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre Foundation is thankful to the Gatto family for their ongoing vital support.