A dynamic, tireless individual who rose above personal tragedy and gave Cedars its auspicious start. As Cedars’ first President, Joe Chamandy used his dedication and skills to ensure a strong and viable fund that would be the foundation for future generations.
Shirley Chamandy never expected at the age of 27, to be widowed with two small children to support. But in 1965, after eight years of marriage, Shirley’s husband Harley died of pancreatic cancer. Even though it has been 42 years since his death, one can still sense the love she has for this man. “He was kind and very giving. He was also respected. Everyone liked him.” Today Shirley, successfully retired, remains committed to the cause of fighting the disease that changed her life so drastically and appreciates the effort of those who have kept the memory of her late husband alive through Cedars.
Edward J. Tabah MD
Dr. Tabah began his career as an intern before joining the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corp where he served as a Captain from 1943 to 1946. He worked as a surgical resident at the Royal Victoria Hospital from 1946-1948 and then went to New York for 5 years to study the treatment of cancer at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre. He returned to Montreal and became staff surgeon at the Royal Victoria Hospital. In 1965, one of his patients, a young man in his twenties, died of cancer. Together with this man's father, the late Joseph Chamandy, a group of business associates, and others, Dr. Tabah helped found the Cedars Cancer Foundation whose purpose was, and is, to fund a variety of cancer-related activities at the Royal Victoria Hospital and the MUHC.
In 1966 Dr. Tabah initiated what was truly the first Oncology Day Centre in Montreal at the RVH and in 1986, after much development and expansion, this center at the Royal Victoria Hospital was renamed the Edward J. Tabah Oncology Day Centre. That same year, Dr. Tabah was the recipient of the Royal Victoria Hospital's Distinguished Service Award and subsequently in 1993, he was awarded the Order of Canada. During the 39 year period from 1953 to his semi-retirement in 1992, he served as Senior Surgeon at the RVH, and Associate Professor of Surgery at McGill University.
Through the Cedars Cancer Foundation, Dr. Tabah saw many of his dreams for cancer victims come true. Whether it was treating the wounded, escaping enemy fire, carting surgical equipment across two continents for the then unknown purpose of helping a surgical program at McGill or pioneering new cancer treatment, it can certainly be said that Dr. Tabah "did his part". From the battlegrounds of World War II, to the fight against cancer, Dr. Tabah has consistently been an instrumental force in helping people combat this disease. Some people, some "personas", some physicians have the ability to change other people's and patients' lives by virtue of who they are...Dr. Edward J. Tabah, clearly...was one of those. Because of his dedication and hard work, along with that of so many others, virtually all cancer patients at the Royal Victoria Hospital are helped in some way by Cedars.