The Pharmasave Radiothon for Healthcare blew past its goal as support poured in from across the southwest the past two days.

Their goal of $150,000 was eclipsed by a record-setting $172,493 leaving the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation overjoyed.

"It was the hard work of all of our staff to get this put on and it was the hard work and the generous donations from southwestern Saskatchewan that made this happen," Chris Martens, the executive director of the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation, said. "We blew it [our goal] out of the water." 

Funds raised at this year's event will help the Swift Current-based non-profit purchase a thulium fibre laser system for the Cypress Regional Hospital. The new piece of equipment will cost $150,000 and will help local physicians including Cypress Health Region Urologist Dr. Garcia.

"I'm really thankful for the effort here to be able to get this technology, there are a lot of benefits for it," he said. "I will probably be the highest volume user of this technology but there is definitely some applicability outside of urology." 

The two procedures the system will allow Dr. Garcia to improve services on are kidney stones and small bladder tumours. He predicts he treats about 40-50 kidney stone issues per year and about half a dozen bladder tumours annually. 

"The laser fibre is very efficient energy to the stone so much more complete destruction of the stone," he said. "I think it opens the door to tackle larger stones that would typically need to be sent off to the city."

Donations of all amounts cascaded consistently throughout yesterday and today but were highlighted by two remarkable gifts. Thursday's was by the Elmgren Estate for $50,000 and earlier this morning Ted Hanlon and the Anluon Foundation contributed $25,000.

"It [the Elmgren donation] really got our Radiothon started off on a strong foot and really set the pace," he said. "It [the Hanlon donation] really set the pace once again for day two. Our phone lines were constant, our emails kept dinging with donations coming in."

Swift Current MLA and Saskatchewan Health Minister Everett Hindley applauded the charity for helping the region he represents. 

"At some point in each of our lives either ourselves or somebody close to us is going to need to use some of our healthcare services at our local healthcare facility such as in Swift Current and right across southwest Saskatchewan, so it [their work] really does touch all our lives," Hindley said.

The extra funds raised from the event will be earmarked for a few different projects.

"There are a lot of things that we can certainly utilize that additional funding for," Martens said. "It will go to a good cause because that's exactly what the foundation is meant to do get much-needed medical equipment in southwest Saskatchewan."

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