Caroline, a middle-aged mother of two exuberant grade school children, arises each morning to prepare them, and herself for a busy day. She and her husband, Andrew, work hard, both within their family and at their jobs, to provide a safe, secure and loving environment for their children. On this particular day, Caroline slips into her physician’s office for her annual check-up, before zipping off to work. A week later she, her family and her entire life are cast into the terror and turmoil that accompanies the dreaded news of breast cancer. And when the cold stark reality sets in, and the fear, for a moment, is pushed aside, Caroline and Andrew catch a glimpse of the mounting challenges that inevitably accompany her diagnosis. Who will care for the children while Caroline is undergoing treatment? How will Andrew transport his wife the 140K round trip to her rigorous and frequent treatments, and still perform his work duties as well as his duties as a father? How will he care for Caroline when the debilitating side effects of chemotherapy strike?
Although Caroline and Andrew are fictitious, this scenario is not. Hundreds of women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year and are faced with these problems and dozens more. That’s where Sorrentino’s Compassion House in Edmonton comes in. The Compassion House Foundation is a non-profit organization, responsible for the creation of the house as a haven for women like Caroline, undergoing breast cancer treatment.
Opening in 2002, the house had six spacious suites and everything necessary for their guests to feel welcome, understood, safe and cared for. But the need was great, and it became clear the Compassion House needed more space. It was time to grow. In 2012 construction began with the intent to add eight more suites, enlarge the kitchen, install an elevator and renovate the common areas.
That’s where Cormode & Dickson comes in! As the builder of choice on this project, with pride and a servant’s heart, Cormode & Dickson worked alongside others of the same giving spirit—suppliers, consultants, sub-trades and more, to make sure the Compassion House achieved its goal, allowing even more breast cancer warriors a safe haven.
On Monday, September 9th, 2013 the renovation and expansion were complete, and the doors reopened, boasting improvements in the library, kitchen, common spaces, and fitness and craft areas. The utilities were completely reworked, and the outdoor living spaces revamped.
“For hundreds of women, their breast cancer journey will be a bit easier because of Sorrentino’s Compassion House. The team from Cormode & Dickson, under the strong leadership of Ben Elzen, were a pleasure to work with…their professionalism and their meticulous and thoughtful attention to every detail means that our newly expanded and renovated ‘home away from home’ will be more welcoming than ever before. We are so grateful to everyone at Cormode & Dickson for helping us achieve our dreams.” Janet Riopel, President Compassion House Foundation Board of Directors.
Cormode & Dickson have a history of being connected to the communities in which it works. The Compassion House project is one example of how this company, in conjunction with other organizations and individuals who donated their resources, helped make a difference where a difference was needed.
“I am proud of the way we worked with sub trades, the Compassion House Board, the neighbourhood and city inspectors to make the dream of a bigger better Compassion House a reality,” said Ben Elzen, President Cormode & Dickson. “As the builder of choice for this project we can be proud of having created an amazing and comforting space for women facing a difficult journey. The warrior spirit of our employees is matched only by the women who will now call Compassion House home for a time.”