Fundraiser in Memory of Dr. Gordon R. Cumming
I am raising money in memory of Dr. Gordon Cumming in support of the Children's Hospital Foundation of Manitoba. Funds raised will be directed towards the Active Physical Play Spaces Redevelopment to support Inpatient Mental Health at HSC Children's Hospital.
Please make a donation to by by clicking the orange "Donate Now" button and help me to reach my fundraising goal!
Gordon R. Cumming MD (March 2, 1929 – July 18, 2020)
In 1958, Gordon established the pediatric cardiology program at Children’s Hospital, Winnipeg.
Gordon, born and raised in Winnipeg, was an avid participant in local community and school youth sports including football and hockey. These early experiences fostered his lifelong interest in sports and exercise throughout both his professional and personal life.
A University of Manitoba Medical school graduate, he left for a few years to pursue specialty training, including his cardiology fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic.
On his return, he combined expertise with his commitment to children with congenital heart disease, and their families, to help them live full and active lives. He felt truly blessed to work with these families and being their doctor was his lifelong passion.
He recognized early the benefits of exercise, for all children, and incorporated exercise into his medical practice while conducting research to advance understanding of congenital heart disease. For most of his Children’s Hospital career, he met patients at his exercise laboratory, which was below ground across from the hospital laundry. He would be genuinely pleased to know of community efforts towards dedicated indoor exercise space for children at the hospital.
Gordon’s children recall friends sharing their experiences as patients seeing Dr. Cumming at the Children’s Hospital. One friend’s experience was one of gratitude. At the age of 6, when a heart murmur was heard, Joe’s parents were told he could not participate in sports. Gordon was able to reassure the family that exercise was not only safe but beneficial, and Joe went on to a fulfilling amateur sports career
Gordon encouraged his family’s sports pursuits and family weekends always involved exercise. He was part of the 1960’s citizens’ group who led the community effort to build the River Heights Community Centre current facility, and one of the founders of their speed skating club. He coached community hockey and baseball, brought national speed skating championships to River Heights, and served as president of Manitoba Speed Skating. He was honored as an inductee into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 2015 (Builder and Sports Medicine).
Gordon’s exercise research expanded to Winnipeg schools and to local, national, and international sports, gaining international recognition for Children’s Hospital and his congenital heart disease and exercise physiology research. Under Gordon’s leadership, the Children’s Hospital exercise laboratory conducted testing for the Manitoba Follow-up Study and for local and elite athletes; and provided internships for top University of Manitoba physical education graduates.
Gordon provided medical expertise to several community efforts including the Legion Peace Garden Athletic Camp, 1967 Pan Am Games, Manitoba Marathon, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Football Club, and for his children’s sports events. He was Canada’s 1976 Olympic team doctor, medical director for Canada Speed Skating, a founding president of the Canadian Association of Sports Sciences, and part of the European Exercise Physiology Research Group.
In the life insurance industry, Gordon was a strong and successful advocate for children and adults with congenital heart disease to be considered fairly for life and health insurance products.
His contributions to helping children and their families navigate congenital heart disease are exemplified by the tributes from his patients. Gordon’s seven children and their families deeply appreciate these stories and take great comfort in knowing he so positively impacted the lives of many.
Participant: The Cumming Family
Fundraising Goal: $10,000.00
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