The mighty sound of a gong will now be a common occurrence at the Windsor Regional Cancer Centre, thanks to the donation of a former patient and her family.
On Wednesday, a crowd of supporters applauded as cancer survivor Daniella Czudner unveiled her noise-making gift to the centre.“This is a tangible symbol that even in the worst circumstances, there’s hope for a better ending,” said Czudner, 42.
“We’ve come so far in such a short period of time. We’re less than a year from diagnosis to gong.”
Last spring, Czudner learned she had a nine-pound, 24-centimetre tumour in her lower abdomen — the result of ovarian cancer.
Following surgery and chemotherapy, she’s now considered cancer-free. “I’m done. Fingers crossed,” Czudner said on Wednesday.
It was during her first visit to the London Health Sciences Centre that Czudner noticed patients banging a gong to mark milestones in their treatment journeys.
“I said, at that moment, we need one of these at home,” Czudner recalled.
The WRCC’s Infinity Gong was purchased online from Gongs Unlimited at a cost of about $1,000.
Czudner, her family and her teaching colleagues at Holy Names Catholic high school raised the necessary funds by selling homemade bracelets.
A percussion instrument of ancient origins, the gong is thought to invoke strength and good luck. The Infinity Gong’s plaque notes that yoga masters consider the sound of the gong to be “the sound of the universe.”
Czudner and her family hope that the Infinity Gong will inspire not only patients undergoing cancer treatment, but their loved ones.“Cancer sucks,” said Tal Czudner, Daniella’s husband, in an emotional speech at the centre.
“People fighting cancer have to keep fighting. They have to keep moving forward … Ring (the gong) every day if you want. Just keep moving forward.”
One of the centre’s patients — 70-year-old Alex Moffat — took the opportunity on Wednesday to use the gong to celebrate his final day of treatment for throat cancer.
“Ever since I knew this (gong) was here, I was waiting for the day I could bang it,” said Moffat before delivering a resounding smash.
Moffat’s family — including his six grandchildren — also took part in the mallet-swinging.
Moffat described the gong as “a brilliant idea,” and said it gave him something to look forward to.
Claudia den Boer Grima, VP of Regional Cancer and Clinical Support Services, said the gong is a beautiful addition to the centre that is already bringing “joy and love and smiles to our patients … and our staff as well.”
The Windsor Star
April 10, 2014