Hoping for another bumper crop of donations

Jay Curtis, who with his wife Corinne farms on Mapleton Line east of Highbury Avenue in Central Elgin, has planted a smaller crop of sunflowers this year to raise money for St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital, but he’s hoping a combination of visitors to his field and online donors will result in another successful year.

He raised $10,000 for London Health Sciences Centre’s robotic surgery department in 2021, and nearly $20,000 for STEGH’s chemotherapy unit, which again will be the beneficiary this year, with flowers expected to appear any day now.

In 2020, as the COVID pandemic was starting to grip the area, a blood test revealed concerns about his prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels in July, which led to more testing and then a biopsy.

“And then the crushing bad news” that he had cancer of the prostate.

Because of COVID, his surgery might have ended up being delayed, but he was admitted to LHSC in November and underwent robotic surgery, under the direction of Dr. Patrick Luke, which removed his prostate in November of 2020.

After he recovered, he decided in the spring of 2021 to grow a crop of sunflowers “because they’re a hopeful, beautiful plant—which I knew nothing about.”

For full details, see the July 19 edition of The Aylmer Express.