Clara Garritano pays it forward

March 05, 2018

Clara Garritano knows first-hand how supporting the hospital makes a difference for patients in the community.
A retired hospital employee, Clara worked at the Greater Niagara General Hospital for over 40 years. Today, she is a proud member of the GNG Hospital Auxiliary, joining while she was still working full time out of admiration for the group and its dedication to supporting the hospital (she is pictured working in the Auxiliary’s gift shop). “I felt it was my turn to give back,” says Clara.
Clara’s long relationship with the hospital gave her an appreciation for how Niagara Health and its care teams touch the lives of so many community members. So, when her father, Silvio Garritano, passed away at age 97, Clara decided she would honour him by making a tribute gift that would help others.

For Clara, her reason for giving to Niagara Health Foundation is two-fold.  Not only did her father receive compassionate care when visiting the GNG Emergency Department on several occasions, she too has unexpectedly come to rely on Niagara Health in recent years.
In 2009, Clara learned that she had Polycystic Kidney Disease - a condition that changed her life.  First managed with medication, Clara would eventually undergo in-hospital dialysis, peritoneal dialysis - which is done by the patient at home - surgery to remove her right kidney and back on in-hospital dialysis once again.  She is currently on the transplant wait list.
Through her kidney care journey, Clara has made use of hospital services in St. Catharines, Welland and Niagara Falls, describing her experience at each site as ‘extraordinary’.  It’s no wonder that Clara chose to support kidney care at Niagara Health through her tribute gift – honouring her father in a way that she feels is both meaningful and purposeful.

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Philanthropy is based on voluntary action for the common good.  It is a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life.

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