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Trucking magnate Archie Verspeeten donates $20M to cancer care

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Just days after his passing, local trucking magnate Archie Verspeeten has made the largest single donation to hospital foundations across southwestern Ontario.

Verspeeten, who died on Nov. 25 at the age of 92, has donated $20 million for cancer care and research at the London Regional Cancer Program on behalf of himself and his late wife Irene.

Archie’s surviving sons were on hand at the announcement Tuesday morning, including Dennis Verspeeten, who opened up about his father’s final wishes.

“Even in dad’s last days, he made us promise, ‘I don’t care if I die on this day. You make sure you guys get your asses down there and you do this, because I’m not going anywhere.’ He says, ‘You can do anything you want with me afterwards, but this has gotta get done. There’s people that need help,’” said Verspeeten.

The Verspeeten family, of Oxford County based Verspeeten Cartage, were themselves touched by cancer. Irene, along with sons Alan and Ron were lost to the disease.

Applause from the crowd as LHSF announces a $20 million donation from the Verspeeten family to fight cancer care on Nov. 28, 2023 in London, Ont. (In a London Health Sciences Foundation (LHSF) news release before he passed, Archie was quoted as saying, “the loss of my wife and sons to cancer has intensified my determination to create a lasting impact in the battle against this devastating disease.”

The donation brings to $27 million the total amount the Verspeeten family has given to the hospital to help fight cancer.

“As a physician, a leader and a cancer survivor, I have seen the new dawn of cancer care,” said London Health Sciences Centre Acting President and CEO Dr. Kevin Chan. “We are standing at the brink of transformational change. And Archie and Irene Verspeeten, your parents, will have provided a gift to help us get there.”

LHSF President and CEO John MacFarlane calls the gift a game changer for cancer care and those fighting the disease.

“He really wanted to make a difference in the lives of people because this family, he and his family has suffered this illness,” said MacFarlane.

The London Regional Cancer Program will be renamed the Verspeeten Family Cancer Centre in honour of the gift. 

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