Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Grateful parents thank Toronto hospital that saved their daughter

Gary Selke, president of Front Street Capital, at the Just for Kids Clinic in Toronto. Mr. Selke is matching donations of up to $250,000.

PHILIP CHEUNG/The Globe and Mail

The Donors: Gary and Debby Selke

The Gift: $250,000

The Cause: Toronto's St. Joseph's Health Centre

Story continues below advertisement

The Reason: To expand the hospital's Just for Kids Clinic

When Gary and Debby Selke's nine-month-old daughter, Lianne, fell ill with double pneumonia one Christmas Eve, they rushed her to the children's clinic at St. Joseph's Health Centre in Toronto.

"She was pretty iffy in terms of her ability to breathe," recalled Mr. Selke, chief executive officer of Toronto-based Front Street Capital.

The incident was more than 20 years ago, but Mr. Selke still remembers returning to visit his daughter at the Just for Kids Clinic early on Christmas Day and being surprised to see a full team of doctors and nurses caring for his daughter.

"They were instrumental in nursing Lianne back to health," he said. Mr. Selke was so impressed with the clinic that he became involved in the hospital's foundation, sitting on the board of directors and later joining with his wife in helping to raise money.

He recently offered to match all individual donations up to $250,000 and Front Street sponsored a recent fundraising event that raised $225,000 for the clinic.

The donations will go toward expanding Just for Kids so that it can handle up to 17,000 visits annually, from 11,000 today.

Story continues below advertisement

"As I've been lucky in life, we had the opportunity to go and give back," he said.

He added that Lianne, now 23, is healthy and active. "She's out riding a horse today," he said. "She has a bright outlook and a bright future, thanks to the clinic more than 20 years ago."

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
European Correspondent

Paul Waldie has been an award-winning journalist with The Globe and Mail for more than 10 years. He has won three National Newspaper Awards for business coverage and been nominated for a Michener Award for meritorious public service journalism. He has also won a Sports Media Canada award for sports writing and authored a best-selling biography of the McCain family. More


The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at