Ottawa Construction News staff writer
The Ottawa Hospital Foundation co-ordinated a surprise tribute for Robert Merkley on July 24, when the hospital unveiled the Merkley Supply Ltd. Research Bay at Dr. John Bell’s oncolyitic virus lab.
Merkley has been a driving force behind the successful Ride the Rideau fund-raiser for cancer research.
The hospital foundation co-ordinated the surprise party with Merkley’s family and employees, who also celebrated Merkley’s sixtieth birthday.
Despite weeks of planning, and an invitation list of about 100 – including several emails and reminders (which all mentioned “Save the date – but keep it a secret!), Merely was indeed taken by surprise when he discovered what he thought would be a small dinner event instead was to be the research bay unveiling, and a catered dinner on the hospital grounds.
Visitors gained rare access to the secure research area where the Merkley Supply Bay is located. Dr. Bell’s team is performing ground-breaking research to develop individualized cancer treatment methodologies, reducing treatment toxicity and increasing its effectiveness.
The fifth Ride The Rideau is scheduled for Sept. 6. So far, the event has raised more than $6.4 million for cancer research.