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When Audrey Brown sold her home, she realized she could leave a substantial legacy gift to Lions Gate Hospital Foundation.CLAUDETTE CARRACEDO

Like a lot of North Vancouver, British Columbia, residents who bought their homes decades ago, it wasn’t until she put her house on the market that Audrey Brown discovered just how much it had appreciated in value over the years. Suddenly, her plan to leave a substantial legacy gift to Lions Gate Hospital Foundation in thanks for the care she and her husband have received became even easier than expected.

Born and raised in North Vancouver, and a lifelong resident of the North Shore, Ms. Brown served with the Vancouver Police Department for 28 years. After her retirement from the force in 2003, she and her husband of 22 years, David, happily spent the next three years travelling the world. However, in 2006, a new journey began when Mr. Brown was diagnosed with advanced esophageal cancer.

While Ms. Brown says the couple had always known Lions Gate Hospital (LGH) was there for them, it wasn’t until his illness that they came to appreciate the quality and scope of the medical care being delivered at the hospital.

“We received nothing but the best of care and treatment at LGH,” says Ms. Brown, but sadly, Mr. Brown passed away at the end of May 2007.

After his death, Ms. Brown honoured his memory by making two donations to Lions Gate Hospital Foundation – one in her late husband’s name and one in her own. It’s something she’s done every year for the past decade and will continue to do.

“I do it because I really want to; I think it’s really important,” she says, adding that three years ago she became even more engaged with LGH when she joined the Auxiliary.

She says that working with the LGH Auxiliary has given her special insight into the Foundation and its transformative projects, like The HOpe Centre and the new Medical and Surgical Care Centre. “As a former police officer, I know how important having a mental health centre is for the community, and I fully expect that once it’s built, the new medical and surgical centre will have the same kind of impact on medical care for our community.”

Ms. Brown says she’s inspired every day by what she sees at LGH, which is why she took the extraordinary step a few years ago of joining the Foundation’s Legacy Society. “I’m a widow without children, and my estate, which is suddenly greater than I originally thought thanks to the sale of my house, has to go somewhere,” says Ms. Brown. “I want a big part of it to go where I know it’s going to make a difference, and for me that’s Lions Gate Hospital.”

Produced by Randall Anthony Communications. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved in its creation.

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