Windows of Hope
has computer systems at the
Southern Interior Rotary Lodge - Kelowna BC
Rotary Hospice House -Prince George BC
If you would like
help to communicate with your loved one through
contact us and we would
be glad to assist you.
Links connects loved ones with
patients in Kelowna
Web Initiative to connect patient, family
George Free Press
Hospice Program digitally Keeping
George This Week
Hospice Program Links Families
Prince George Citizen
Hospice Program digitally Keeping Families Together
for the Free Press
Jul 05 2006
Web Initiative to connect Patients, families
years ago, Loriann Greenall learned just how far away
Vancouver can be, when her sister Tammy traveled south
for chemotherapy treatment and the telephone was their
only source of communication.
could hear in her voice how much she missed her family,
and that she didn’t want to be away from her kids and
all they bring to her,” said Greenall. “After the first
week she wanted to quit because going through that alone
was very hard on her.”
Tammy continued the treatment and is now recovering at
her home in Prince George, although Greenall now lives
in Kelowna and the two sisters are still hundreds of
Greenall has decided to reach out to other families who
may be facing the same long-distance problems by
co-founding Windows of Hope with her old friend Tony
Romeyn, whom she worked with at the Prince George RCMP
Victims Services Branch.
Windows of Hope is headquartered at the Prince George
Hospice Society and it provides a peer-to-peer computer
networking system that allows users to have long-running
real-time chats using a Web cam.
technology is much more intimate than e-mailing or
telephones and the benefits of face-to-face conversation
are immeasurable, and Greenall uses the same technology
to keep in touch with Tammy from her home in Kelowna.
I’m talking with my sister and she says she’s fine, I
know whether she’s telling the truth or not because she
can’t hide behind a telephone.”
Greenall says the system can provide valuable visual
updates for kids who have parents or loved ones dealing
with the side-affects of medical procedures like
chemotherapy. “Children are able to gradually see the
physical changes and they are not so afraid then to give
their mom or dada a hug.”
Another major practical advantage to this kind of
communication is that friends and family are able to
virtually enter a sterile medical environment that may
sometimes be off-limits.
“Having people coming and going is a little risky for a
patient that is going through chemotherapy,” Greenall
Romeyn, owner of IRL Supplies and co-founder of Windows
of Hope, jumped at the chance to help families deal with
major medical problems.
there’s that separation, keeping families in touch is so
vital in the healing process,” says Romeyn, who recently
lost a brother-in-law to cancer. “The support we’ve got
from the community has been terrific.”
computer equipment currently set-up at the Hospice House
was donated by a local resident who wishes to remain
anonymous, and the organization has also received four
notebook computers that will allow local families to
connect with ailing loved ones in the comfort of their
more information go to
call Tony at (250) 613-6269.
Southern Interior Rotary Lodge - Kelowna BC
April 13, 2006
Link connects loved ones with patients in Kelowna
FRANK PEEBLES Citizen staff
Prince George families now have a way to talk to loved ones receiving treatment
at a cancer lodge in Kelowna, thanks to a new
special camera system at the Southern Interior Rotary
Lodge in Kelowna, which allows patients to see and hear
family via a portable laptop in Prince George, is a
first for B.C.
was testing it, a whole bunch of patients gathered
around, and the quick question I heard was 'can I get
that in my community?' because there are patients here
from Salmon Arm, Merritt, Williams Lake, so the answer I
have is this is a pilot project and we hope to expand it
to other communities," said Tony Romeyn, a Prince George
businessman who founded the project called Windows of
was approached more than a year ago by Loriann Greenall,
a friend who had a sister undergoing cancer treatments
far from home in the summer of 2004.
remember there were times when (sister Tammy) had such a
difficult time being away, she was often very
discouraged, and I often thought how unfair it was,"
Greenall said. "Her family couldn't afford to come down
to visit often or pack up and be with her for those six
weeks. By the end of the first week they were all
already feeling that separation. You are alone, you are
in a clinical environment, you are facing scary
obstacles and that is when you want to be in the best
possible frame of mind."
learned the technology did exist, but it was expensive,
which meant most most cancer facilities he approached
were reluctant to join the project, until he found an
ally at the Kelowna cancer lodge.
"Kelowna was very excited, so much so that we decided to
put all our efforts into that one place, to get things
up and running," Romeyn said. "We will get it going
there and use it to show other cancer facilities or
children's hospitals ... that indeed this can be done at
a very reasonable cost and very easily."
Windows of Hope were thrown open by the University of
Waqar Haque leads UNBC's industrial collaborative
research group. Normally he and his team charge
commercial rates for developing software and building
computer systems, but they were so moved by the proposal
that they did most of the development for free. Haque
also approached the industry and found all the hardware
the project would need at insider prices.
have a nice working solution we delivered to him
(Romeyn) last week," said Haque, including ongoing
maintenance and a street-language user manual so
patients and their loved ones can operate it easily.
"The computer just rings like a phone, you pick up, and
there you are, on-line."
said it was a difficult process to develop the system on
the scant budget Romeyn had to offer them, but now that
it is done, it is cheap and easy to replicate in other
who would like to know more can go to the program's
©Copyright 2006 Prince George Citizen