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While undergoing treatment for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma at Princess Margaret Hospital, John "Russ" Koshan was most impressed with his team of oncologists and with the level of care that he was provided. However, he was also amazed that certain medications he was prescribed, which were critical to the possible success of his treatment, were not covered by OHIP or by many corporate sponsored medical plans.

Also disturbing to John was the fact that many patients he met, who were staying in the hospital for weeks or months on end, had no family members present to provide them with much needed support on a daily basis. This, he learned, was often a result of families simply not having sufficient resources to allow for both spouses to be away from their children and/or jobs simultaneously.

John wanted to establish a fund that would prevent situations like these from happening. It was John's wish that each lymphoma patient should be given the best possible chance of being cured, while being surrounded by the most support available. He felt that a lack of resources should simply never prevent this from happening.

John was diagnosed with cancer in January 2000, at the age of 33. After a year of intensive chemotherapy and radiation treatments, he was informed that he would not survive his disease, as it had become too aggressive to respond to treatment. At least however, he received this news knowing that he had been given "the best shot possible" at being cured. He felt blessed knowing that throughout his treatments, he was always fortunate enough to have access to any and all of the medication and support he needed.

Unfortunately, John passed away on February 16th, 2001 after his long battle with cancer. John will certainly always be with us and The Hibiscus Fund for Hope will live on in his name for years to come. The Hibiscus Fund for Hope is named after a beautiful flower that grows wild on the island of Bermuda - one of John's favorite places on earth. For John, the hibiscus was a symbol of renewal and hope.

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