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Profile 3 - Denise Cumming

.By Stepehn Petrick with photography by Joanathan Sugarman

Denise Cumming’s current state of mind — happy, healthy, grateful and feeling blessed — is much different than her precarious state of health when she entered the world. Some of her first days, back in 1963, were in a neonatal unit of The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. She was born with hydrocephalus, a condition associated with too much cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. She was baptized in the hospital’s chapel because doctors worried she wouldn’t live. Few hospitals in those days had the expertise to treat such a condition, but being a research hospital, Sick Kids did. A successful neurosurgery allowed her to live the great life she’s enjoying today.

Denise is the president and CEO of University Hospitals Kingston Foundation (UHKF), an organization in charge of fundraising for Kingston’s three major hospital organizations: Kingston General Hospital, Hotel Dieu Hospital and Providence Care. It is not a coincidence that her current job, as well as the numerous ones that preceded it, involves hospital fundraising. Denise owes her life to a teaching hospital, and a plethora of other events in her life since then have just reinforced that belief. . . .

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