Casey House Mourns Loss of Founder June Callwood, 1924-2007



    TORONTO, April 14 /CNW/ - Casey House is in mourning for the loss of our
dear friend and champion. June Callwood died peacefully early this morning in
the care of her family and close friends, after a courageous and well-spent
life. She was 82.
    "The Casey House community is deeply appreciative to the Frayne family
for sharing their precious mother and wife with us for so many years. We send
them our love and deepest condolences," said Jaime Watt, Chair of the Board of
Directors of Casey House.
    Known as "Canada's Conscience," June Callwood inspired all of Canada for
more than six decades through her journalism and social justice activism.
Carrying with her the memories of an impoverished childhood, combined with her
fierce intelligence and immense compassion, June was an example to us all of a
life driven by courage, vision, voluntarism, hope and love for humanity. "She
had a knack for exposing the tears in Canada's social fabric, and envisioning
ways to mend them," said Stephanie Karapita, Chief Executive Officer of Casey
House. "Casey House, the first HIV/AIDS hospice of its kind in the world, is a
testament to her vision. She will be profoundly missed."
    June Callwood considered Casey House to be her greatest legacy. She
founded it in 1988, at a time when little was yet known about HIV/AIDS and the
ignorance and fear surrounding the disease were intense. Her goal for Casey
House was to establish a place of medical excellence in the treatment of
HIV/AIDS and, most importantly, a place of love and compassion. It is named
after her youngest son Casey who was killed by a drunk driver in 1982. "Almost
twenty years ago, when a group of people sat down to create a hospice for
people with HIV/AIDS, there was no road to follow. Hospices for HIV/AIDS did
not exist anywhere in the world, so the group was obliged to dream of what
such a place might be," June Callwood once recalled. "The point is, when you
dream, do not be realistic and fit your dream to what exists and is possible.
Fit your dream to what should exist, and should be possible."

    June Callwood Legacy Fund:
    June Callwood considered Casey House her greatest legacy, and
collaborated with the Board of Directors to create the June Callwood Legacy
Fund. This fund will help continue the work began by June Callwood, and ensure
that Casey House meets the needs of people living with HIV/AIDS by continuing
to deliver exceptional care.

    An invitation to the public:
    Casey House has a tradition of honouring lost friends by lighting the
candle that sits in our front window. June's candle is burning now. And like
the memories of the others this candle has honoured, the memories we have of
June will never be extinguished. We invite all members of the public who wish
to join us in honouring June's courageous life to visit Casey House to sign
the condolence book in her honour. Please visit us at 9 Huntley Street between
the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

    Online tribute to June Callwood:
    A tribute to June Callwood, including a detailed biography, selected
photos, and an online condolence book, has been posted on the Casey House
website at www.caseyhouse.com.

    About Casey House:
    Casey House leads the way in delivering comprehensive palliative and
supportive care services for people living with HIV/AIDS. More than 2,500
people have received our exceptional care since we opened our doors in 1988.
To find out more about Casey House, or to make a donation online, please visit
our website at www.caseyhouse.com




For further information:

For further information: or interview requests: Kathleen Sandusky,
Communications, Casey House, (416) 962-4040 ext. 268/(416) 434-7763 (cell),
media@caseyhouse.on.ca

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