BC Children’s Hospital Foundation Donor Story

Remembering BC’s ‘mother’ of pediatric oncology

Hilary Beard
Director, Gift & Estate Planning
BC Children’s Hospital Foundation

Dr. J. Mavis Teasdale was no ordinary clinician. With great passion she was a pioneer and leader at BC Children’s Hospital, ensuring kids who were suffering from cancer were given the very best chance to recover and return home to simply be kids again.

Dr. Mavis Teasdale spent her life building up the pediatric oncology unit at BC Children’s Hospital. Through a legacy gift in her Will, her commitment to caring for the children of BC continues into the future.

She always made sure to look at health care as more than simply combatting the disease, and this unique outlook would help her lay the foundation of pediatric oncology in British Columbia.

In the ‘60s and ‘70s—when Dr. Teasdale was the sole hematologist and oncologist on staff at BC Children’s Hospital— she looked carefully at how care was conducted with a keen eye. Examining it with both an objective and creative lens, Dr. Teasdale worked to create a space that not only treated the disease, but as importantly, cared for the person receiving treatment.

“Dr. Teasdale cared very much for what her patients were experiencing,” says Dr. David F. Smith, colleague and friend to Dr. Teasdale. “She was always thinking about her staff and patients’ well-being.”

Her goal was to help patients in any way she could, and for staff to better understand what these children and families were truly going through. For example, Dr. Teasdale reached out to trusted peer experts to hire a full-time psychologist to research and develop a pain and anxiety program, and engaged another to arrange a workshop to educate staff on the processes of death and dying.

Dr. Teasdale cared very much for what her patients were experiencing. She was always thinking about her staff and patients’ well-being.

– Dr. David F. Smith

Dr. Teasdale would serve as the head of BC Children’s Hospital Hematology, Oncology and BMT division from 1970 to 1987. She spent her life building up the pediatric oncology unit at the hospital, paving the way for future generations of clinicians and researchers to better understand these diseases, thereby improving treatments, and saving the lives of kids suffering from cancer in this province.

Simply put, kids in BC are healthier, stronger, and have a greater chance at survival thanks to Dr. Teasdale.

Looking forward to the future, Dr. Teasdale ensured her care for children continues on through her legacy.

As remarkable as her life, Dr. Teasdale has left a legacy and commitment to caring for kids in BC by leaving a gift in her Will. It is through this gift to BC Children’s Hospital Foundation that the next generation of clinicians will have the opportunity to learn and make the best health care possible to our children.

BC Children's Hospital Foundation

, ,