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Sandra Hale

$21,663.00 (raised so far)

About Sandra Hale

Sandra loved working as an Occupational Therapist (OT). Occupational therapists are health care professionals who help others develop, recover, improve, and maintain the skills needed for daily living and working. They assist people in regaining their independence after an illness, injury or as a result of a disability. Sandra first assisted those who came into hospital right after a serious spinal cord injury and later she helped those with mental health issues improve skills for employability. She worked with all with a great deal of heart and compassion.

Sandra completed her Bachelors Degree in Occupational Therapy (BScOT) at the University of Alberta in 1987. She attained her Masters of Science in Rehabilitation Sciences in 2011, writing her thesis on the topic of employment issues related to people with bi-polar disorders. She also presented a variety of workshops in this area. Sandra was a Clinical Assistant Professor at UBC in Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy and was also a published author with articles in several periodicals and a chapter in an OT text.

Sandra was well known as a hardworking and dedicated OT. No matter what the task was, she persevered and completed it. She was a critical thinker and problem-solver and used this to assist those she worked with. Her great sense of humour and kindness really stood out to all she encountered.

Sandra’s career in OT was unfortunately cut short due to Multiple Sclerosis. She contracted this disease in 1998 and soldiered on until symptoms made it impossible for her to continue. Ironically, Sandra’s career as an OT often informed her own treatment and she would direct those working with her as to what might work best. Sandra really did miss the interactions with students and colleagues and she kept up social interactions up as long as she was able to. Sandra handled her difficult illness with tenacity and grace and tried all treatments that were available to her. Sandra lost her battle with this disease in 2020 at the age of 57.

Sandra loved her family, son Peter, daughter Lindsay and husband Dennis. Sandra reveled in her role as a devoted mom and enjoyed family gatherings with her large extended family. She was very skilled in creating figurines with polymer clay and other mediums. Many of us are blessed to have some of her intricate creations. Sandra was an enthusiastic runner and skier and also enjoyed theatre, music, and writing. Sandra loved to travel and visited Thailand, Ireland, Bali, Switzerland, and New Zealand where she presented some of her research at a conference.

Sandra was a very social person and was loved by many friends. She was outgoing, optimistic, determined, bubbly, kind, hardworking, creative, and a friend to all she met.

In 2010, Sandra’s niece, Gabrielle wrote an essay to secure a spot to carry the Olympic Torch. Seven torch runner spots were to be awarded to people who had overcome adversity. Gabrielle’s entry on her Aunt Sandra won! Sandra had the opportunity to run a leg of the Olympic torch run along a picturesque ocean route in Sechelt. Sandra had been an avid runner but MS has advanced to a point that made running increasingly very difficult and she was concerned about being able to make the distance to deliver the torch to the next runner. However as always, Sandra was determined. She was jubilant as she completed her section.

Sandra was able to advance her education as an occupational therapist by winning several scholarships and awards. In 2009, she was delighted to win a Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship allowing her to advance her education. Sandra would be absolutely thrilled to offer support to others who are advancing their skills and education in Occupational Therapy.

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The impact of your support

In honour of Sandra’s memory, your donation will support Occupational Therapy student(s) within the UBC Faculty of Medicine. Any support would be greatly appreciated by the family. Final decisions on the award description and student eligibility will be made in consultation with the University of British Columbia and the family of Sandra Hale.

Messages of Remembrance

All Messages
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  • Mother’s Day..... a mother sorely missed and forever loved

    Family , Family
  • March 6th. Sandra’s birthday. It’s too bad that she is not with us. We all love her so so much. Life is not the same without her. A hurt that will probably never heal.

    Family, Just family
  • Thought provoking, positive, welcoming, intelligent. An inspiration to all. Lots of fun, and a good dancer. She will be greatly missed .

    Tim, Brother
  • Sandra was such a force of energy and believed with her every fiber the miracle elixir of occupational therapy. I very much remember when she was diagnosed with MS and our long conversations about it. It was such a blow to her and yet she had a sheer determination to understand it and do everything possible to enhance or maintain her quality of life. I should also note that she had a passion around participating in the education of next generation of occupational therapists. She so enjoyed working with the students and the students got so much in return believing that she was the model occupational therapist. Indeed she was - a tour de force! I want to extend my sincere condolences to Dennis and the family.

    Susan Forwell, Colleague and Friend
  • I first met Sandra when we volunteered for the Vancouver branch of BCSOT, back when networking was highly social over coffee and snacks, as we planned ways to promote and advance the profession locally. Some 20 years later, it was a pleasure to supervise Sandra as she completed her master’s thesis exploring employment experiences of people living with bipolar disorder. Sandra was so very committed to and enthusiastic about her research, and exhibited great joy in learning. Oh my goodness, the conversations we had over multiple revisions and sometimes left-field ideas! Sandra graciously and personably shared gratitude for the financial support she received from granting agencies, moral support from her fellow students and clinical colleagues, and candid experiences shared by study participants. After days of preparation and trial runs, she was thrilled to receive the audience choice award for her “3-minute thesis” presentation in the faculty-wide competition. As others have shared, there was always a good laugh and twinkling eyes when Sandra was in the room. My sincere condolences to Dennis, Peter, and Lindsay, Sandra’s family, friends, and colleagues.

    Catherine Backman, Colleague, thesis supervisor
  • My memories of working with Sandra go back to 1991-1994. I had just graduated from the OT program and started working at Shaughnessy Hospital. What I remember most fondly is her passion working with clients with spinal cord injuries. I learned valuable lessons which I have carried through my career in working with clients with neurological conditions. The other memory that really sticks out for me is how she made us all laugh during our lunch time skits in the OT department. RIP Sandra!

    Naz, Chow
  • I started working with Sandra as a HCA in 2016, due her multiple sclerosis condition. l had the pleasure of being with her for fours years, Sandra was one of the kindest people that l ever had the privilege to work with. She was always grateful, optimistic, with a great sense of humour, and a genuine good heart. l have learned a lot with her, she will be very missed for those that were lucky to meet her in her passage on this planet.

    Luciana machado, Personal HCA
  • It was always a special event when you were with Sandra and her incredible sense of humour. She was exemplary as an OT. A bright light. A shining star. She leaves us with great memories.

    Shaunna Yaremchuk, Friend and fellow U of A OT alumni
  • Dedication to people with no prejudice

    Life long friend, Family
  • Sandra was a fun, creative and loving soul. She was an energetic and conscientious OT and a good friend. There was a group of us OT friends from university who stayed in touch. Back in the late 80's, two of us would fly out from Alberta, Sandra would pick us up in Vancouver and we would take the ferry to Victoria to meet two more OT friends. What wonderful weekend adventures! We would explore the island and then sit, eat, and laugh. In the last decade or so, we have re-booted our OT friend get-togethers, hanging out at a cabin on Gull Lake, Alberta. Sandra flew out to join us twice (I think - forgive my aging brain!) We would sit and eat and laugh, laugh, laugh. What a gift it is to have friends for over 35 years! The last time I saw Sandra was on Mother’s Day 2019. MS no longer allowed her to fly to Alberta or respond to emails, so Lynne, another OT friend, and I flew out to see her. We had Mother’s Day lunch with Sandra, Dennis, Peter and Lindsay. We had only seen Peter and Lindsay when they were young and through the school photos Sandra had sent us. What a joy to meet them as adults, what fine human beings they are growing into. Funny and kind and good, just like Sandra. Sandra once wrote me a letter, in maybe 2001, sharing that through her journey with MS, difficult though it was, she had a spiritual awakening which blessed her. Visiting her in 2019, while praying with her for a remission or healing, she also voiced her hope in Jesus and eternal life and her sadness in leaving her children and husband too early. Sharing in this sadness, prayers for comfort and peace are extended to Dennis, Peter and Lindsay as well as Sandra’s mom and her entire family. Sandra will be dearly missed.

    Wendy Hoven, Friend and fellow University of Alberta OT alumni
  • 20 years ago Sandra Hale welcomed us to the neighbourhood with a plate of fresh out of the oven cookies! Sandra was a kind, compassionate, caring person with a wealth of knowledge in all aspects of life. We are blessed to have known such an amazing woman. She will be deeply missed. Our thoughts are with Dennis, Peter and Lindsay as well as all her family, friends and colleagues. Talk about Sandra, share stories, keep her joyful spirit alive.

    The Barber Family, Friend & Neighbour
  • Where might I begin? How about 1981? Hmmm. This I can intimate..... Sandra would never give up on anyone that she knew. I’m case in point. Our son Peter got the best of Sandra and our most precious daughter Lindsay got the very best that Sandra could give. An angel going home.

    Dennis, Life long partner and friend
  • “ Sandra was the dearest friend ever, always a great listener, a smile on her face, a twinkle in her eye and the utmost in optimistic perspective!”

    Jo Clark, Friend and colleague
  • “Sandra had the heart of an OT! Whether through innovating clinical practice or crafting intricate and personal decorations for everyone she worked with, she was a creative soul.”

    Mary Konkin, Friend and former supervisor
List of Donors
All Donors
  • Deb Bailey

  • Deb Bailey

  • Anonymous Donation

  • Sharon Reimer

  • Theresa Watts

  • June Murray

  • Linda Beer

  • Katherine Hatchard

  • Wendy Mann

  • Keith & Marilyn McGee

  • Shawn Park

  • Shannon Park

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