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Paying it forward

Daniel Grzymisch
Daniel Grzymisch became a monthly donor after Sunnybrook saved his life – twice

When Daniel Grzymisch sat down to write an email to Sunnybrook President and CEO Dr. Andy Smith, his subject line said it all: “Gratitude.”

The 72-year-old Toronto accountant and father of two sons is overflowing with appreciation for Sunnybrook and the health-care teams who he says saved his life, not once, but twice in the past three years.

Daniel was first referred to Sunnybrook’s Odette Cancer Program in 2019 when a discolouring on his scalp was diagnosed as melanoma. He had multiple surgeries to remove the cancer and a major skin graft to repair the site – something he proudly calls “my life scars.”

Seven months later, Daniel was back at Sunnybrook, this time in the Schulich Heart Program where pain in his biceps turned out to be three massively blocked arteries near his heart. Daniel underwent triple bypass surgery in January 2020.

I consider it a blessing and a privilege to be treated by a myriad of people who are dedicated and committed to assisting in their patients’ well-being. From the doctors and nurses to the cleaners, food servers, parking attendants and greeters, everyone was fantastic,” Daniel wrote in an email to Sunnybrook President & CEO Dr. Andy Smith.

To say thanks for his care and ensure Sunnybrook has what it takes to continue to invent the future of health care, Daniel made a monthly pledge in 2021. He’s also considering to include a bequest to Sunnybrook in his will.


Daniel Grzymisch and his wife Ana Maria photographed at Sunnybrook
Daniel Grzymisch and his wife Ana Maria photographed at Sunnybrook, a place that Daniel says he associates with hope.

Daniel’s gifts have supported priorities like the upgraded and expanded Electrophysiology (EP) Suites in the Schulich Heart Program. Now the site of more than 1,000 image-guided procedures a year, the EP Suites will soon double the Schulich Heart Program’s capacity for cardiac ablations and implantable devices, while elevating clinical education and research in this field.

Sunnybrook is set to start construction on the new EP Suites in 2022 thanks to the generosity of our donor community.

“I have to do as much as I can to help Sunnybrook’s teams keep up with their amazing work for all the other patients who go through experiences like mine,” Daniel says. “I was so scared for my life, but as long as there is Sunnybrook, there is hope. I am so grateful for the life they gave back to me.”