Cancer patient wants TLC founder allowed in hospital
LONDON, ONT. -- London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is taking its ban on the TLC Foundation to the next level.
Leo Larizza says LHSC has sent a formal no trespassing notice to anyone associated with him.
"They are not only banning me but officers, representatives, agents, employees and volunteers of TLC Foundation," says Larizza.
He and his lawyer believe that the hospital got wind of a plan to have volunteers deliver the gifts on Christmas Eve. "In order to stop that, they have banned everybody," he added.
The restriction is not only personally affecting Larizza, but for the first time we are hearing from one of his friends on the inside.
Jesse Brissette posted a video Saturday of his son Carter who has befriended Leo while battling brain cancer for the past four years.
"I don't have many friends being in a wheelchair," Carter says in a soft voice in the video. "Having the hospital take my friends away is heartbreaking."
Larizza says receiving the video from his friend was heart wrenching.
"All he wants is my friendship, and to play cards, board games. It's difficult to watch the video because it's so sad," Larizza said. "I'm speechless and getting emotional just talking about that."
We reached out to LHSC with specific questions regarding the TLC Foundation. They refused to answer them, and referred us to the gift in-kind policy from November.
So just days before the traditional wish delivery, the prohibition is expanded.
In the past, his group of volunteers has included uniformed first responders. It’s unclear whether the letter from hospital administration would include them too.
"Everybody that has helped the charity on Christmas Eve in the past. That would include police, firefighters, volunteers. They are also banned from the property," Larizza believes.
He says a month after the initial prohibition from the Victoria Campus grounds, he is still confused and doesn't really understand why the barriers are in place.
He says the recent sign across the street has helped get the word out to parents and wish requests are coming in.
He says any kid in the hospital on Christmas will get a gift, despite the limitations in getting it to them.
"We'll be outside of hospital property and abide by everything they want us to abide by,” Larizza says. "We will get the gifts to the kids."