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Ruba Abboud
Heart of Fashion advisory council member
Ruba Abboud, with her late father Dr. Abdul Rahim.

Some might call it fate. Others, chance. But if you ask Ruba Abboud, she would tell you that raising money for the very area of North York General Hospital that saved her father’s life two years earlier – without even knowing it – is a sign that she is right where she is meant to be. 

As a member of the Advisory Council for Heart of Fashion, North York General Foundation’s legendary fashion event fundraiser, Ruba recently joined her fellow council members for a tour of the Interventional Radiology (IR) Suites, the area of the hospital that this year’s Heart of Fashion event is supporting. 

“As we walked through the hallways, I knew that I had been there before,” explains Ruba. “The memories came flooding back to me and it took everything in me not to just fall apart right there.” 

Two years earlier, in the middle of the night, Ruba and her family were in the very same halls as her father, Dr. Abdul Rahim, underwent an emergency procedure to stop internal bleeding and save his life. “I remembered staring at the door to the IR Suite that night, not knowing if my dad would come out alive,” says Ruba. 

IR is a specialized branch of health care that diagnoses and treats diseases by using high resolution imaging to guide tiny instruments to tumours, bleeding, infection and blockages. IR lets North York General’s health care team perform minimally invasive procedures to over 4,000 patients each year, helping them recover safely, quickly and often with minimal pain and discomfort. From the Emergency Department to intensive care, cancer care to cardiac care, IR treats patients hospital-wide. But the equipment in the IR Suite is approaching the end of its lifespan and we need community support to update it. That’s why Heart of Fashion has committed to raising $1 million of the fully donor-funded $4.5 million IR Suite transformation project. 

Thanks to North York General’s health care team, Ruba’s dad pulled through the procedure and enjoyed two more years with his loving family, a gift that Ruba will forever be grateful for.  Sadly, Dr. Rahim passed away in early 2015, but for Ruba, volunteering on the Advisory Council is helping her feel connected to her father. “I joined the Council just to help out – to give back to the hospital that gave my family so much,” she explains. “But now that I know I’m supporting the same room that saved his life … It’s just an incredible feeling. I feel closer to him doing this. It’s meant to be.”

Presented by BMO Financial Group, the exclusive Heart of Fashion event takes place on Saturday, May 14. VIP packages are over 80% sold! Visit heartoffashion.ca to purchase your tickets today and help us upgrade technology where it matters the most!

Heart of Fashion