REPORTING · 22nd September 2010
Former Kelowna-Mission MLA Sindi Ahluwalia Hawkins passed away yesterday from her battle with acute myeloid leukemia, which she had been fighting since she was first diagnosed in January 2004.
Hawkins was born September 15, 1958 in New Delhi, India and was 52 when she passed away.
Below are statements from Premier Campbell and NDP leader Carol James as well as a news release on Hawkins being honoured earlier that day just before she passed away.
Premier Gordon Campbell issued the following statement today:
"It is with deep sadness that I announce the passing of friend and former MLA, Sindi Ahluwalia Hawkins, after a courageous battle with acute myeloid leukemia.
"Sindi passed away peacefully at noon today in Calgary with family by her side. Sindi was only 52 years old and taken from us far too early. She had much more to give and we had more to learn from her.
"Anyone who ever met Sindi was struck by her remarkable spirit for everything she put her efforts toward. She was an incredibly kind and considerate human being who dedicated her life to helping others. She was able to connect with people from all walks of life, something she showcased in her careers as a nurse, lawyer, elected official and cancer advocate.
"Today is a sombre day for British Columbia; we have lost an inspirational person, an advocate, a role model and a great community leader.
"In honor of her contributions to British Columbia, we will rename the Southern Interior Cancer Centre in her name.
"Sindi was a tireless and selfless advocate for her community who was a strong voice for the Okanagan in the provincial legislature. She served as an MLA from 1996-2009, including tenures as the Minister of Health Planning, Minister of State for Intergovernmental Affairs and Deputy Speaker of the Legislature.
"Sindi was an activist for cancer awareness, helping to raise millions of dollars. Her contributions to cancer awareness will leave a lasting legacy that will help save lives.
"She will be deeply missed by her friends, colleagues and thousands more whose lives she touched. The family has asked for privacy."
New Democrat leader Carole James issued the following statement today on the passing of Sindi Hawkins:
“It is with sadness that we mark the passing of former MLA Sindi Hawkins.
“Sindi was an extraordinary woman, a kind and generous spirit who will be remembered for a lifetime of public service to her province and her community.
“As a public figure, Sindi saw an opportunity to use her role to fundraise and raise awareness for cancer in B.C. The fact she continued that work throughout her diagnosis and treatment is a testament to her selfless commitment to others.
“Sindi was also a great support to others facing this disease. I experienced that first hand with my cancer diagnosis in 2006. Sindi was there with support, ideas, and encouragement and I know she played that role with so many others across our province and country. I will always remember her grace and good humour, warmth and tenacity of spirit.
“On behalf of the New Democrat Official Opposition, I would like to extend my deepest condolences to Sindi’s family, friends and her community.”
SINDI HAWKINS HONOURED FOR CONTRIBUTIONS TO CANCER AWARENESS
The BC Cancer Agency's Centre for the Southern Interior will be renamed in honour of former Kelowna Mission MLA Sindi Ahluwalia Hawkins, who is currently battling acute myeloid leukemia, announced Premier Gordon Campbell.
"Sindi Hawkins has selflessly dedicated her life to helping others, as a nurse, an MLA and an advocate to raise awareness for cancer," said Premier Campbell. "Naming the Southern Interior Cancer Centre after her will be a lasting legacy of her kindness, her passion for helping others and her generosity of spirit."
Hawkins was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in January 2004. She currently resides in Calgary where she continues her battle against cancer.
Hawkins served as the MLA for Okanagan West and Kelowna-Mission from 1996 to 2009. During her tenure she served as Deputy Speaker, Minister of State for Intergovernmental Relations and as Minister of Health Planning.
After first being elected in 1996 she started the annual Sindi Hawkins and Friends Charity Golf Classic for Cancer Care, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for the local cancer clinic.
Since her own leukemia diagnosis in 2004, Hawkins has been a tireless supporter of the cancer cause. As co-chair of the BC Cancer Foundation's Tour of Courage in 2007 and with a new endowment fund, she has helped raise nearly $3 million for the BC Cancer Foundation.
The Sindi Hawkins Cancer Centre for the Southern Interior serves a population of over 700,000, spanning 250,000 square kilometres from Penticton to the Alberta border, to Quesnel in the north and Lytton in the west.
"Sindi's will to help others fight and beat cancer is an inspiration to millions of people," said Premier Campbell. "She has given cancer patients across British Columbia not only the gift of hope, but the gift of life that will now be remembered for generations."
Before her election to the legislative assembly, Hawkins worked as a registered nurse in general duty, intensive care, management, education and consulting. She spent 12 years treating cancer patients before studying and pursuing a law career. She set up her own company as a lawyer with an interest in medical-legal issues. She received both her bachelor of nursing and her bachelor of law degrees from the University of Calgary.
Sindi Hawkins was the 2008 BC Cancer Agency Community Care Award recipient. From left to right: Dr. Clay Smith, Sindi Hawkins, Dr. Simon Sutcliffe & previous Minister of Health Services George Abbott.
Comment by Pat Smart on 23rd September 2010
As a former Kelowna resident, Sindi Hawkins was an accessible MLA who always had a smile. She will surely be missed. Rest in Peace...condolences to her loved ones as well.