Keeping Families Together

A Tear We Shed

Windows of Hope
In Memory Of

Tammy Smeds
Who passed into the Lord's presence January 3, 2007

Insp. Greg Funk
September 22, 1955 December 31, 2008

Hank Timmer
Gerry Winkel
My Brothers In-Law
Who passed into the Lord's presence respectively
February 28, 2006
& July 15, 2006



Windows of Hope is dedicated to family and some very close friends who are currently fighting the battle of cancer and Elsa who has been clear of cancer for 5 years. Our prayer for them that God will give them healing but above all peace in knowing Him.


It is our honor to recognize
 Elsa Aspden










Windows of Hope
has computer systems at the
Southern Interior Rotary Lodge - Kelowna BC
Rotary Hospice House -Prince George BC

If you would like help to communicate with your loved one through Video-Voice Conferencing
Please contact us and we would be glad to assist you.
News Media
Links connects loved ones with patients in Kelowna
Prince George Citizen

Web Initiative to connect patient, family

Prince George Free Press

Hospice Program digitally Keeping Families Together
Prince George This Week

Hospice Program Links Families
Prince George Citizen

Hospice Program digitally Keeping Families Together

By Mark Hasiuk
for the Free Press

Jul 05 2006

Web Initiative to connect Patients, families

Two years ago, Loriann Greenall learned just how far away Vancouver can be, when her sister Tammy traveled south for chemotherapy treatment and the telephone was their only source of communication.

“I could hear in her voice how much she missed her family, and that she didn’t want to be away from her kids and all they bring to her,” said Greenall. “After the first week she wanted to quit because going through that alone was very hard on her.”

But Tammy continued the treatment and is now recovering at her home in Prince George, although Greenall now lives in Kelowna and the two sisters are still hundreds of miles apart.

So Greenall has decided to reach out to other families who may be facing the same long-distance problems by co-founding Windows of Hope with her old friend Tony Romeyn, whom she worked with at the Prince George RCMP Victims Services Branch.

Windows of Hope is headquartered at the Prince George Hospice Society and it provides a peer-to-peer computer networking system that allows users to have long-running real-time chats using a Web cam.

The technology is much more intimate than e-mailing or telephones and the benefits of face-to-face conversation are immeasurable, and Greenall uses the same technology to keep in touch with Tammy from her home in Kelowna.

“When I’m talking with my sister and she says she’s fine, I know whether she’s telling the truth or not because she can’t hide behind a telephone.”

Greenall says the system can provide valuable visual updates for kids who have parents or loved ones dealing with the side-affects of medical procedures like chemotherapy. “Children are able to gradually see the physical changes and they are not so afraid then to give their mom or dada a hug.”

Another major practical advantage to this kind of communication is that friends and family are able to virtually enter a sterile medical environment that may sometimes be off-limits.

“Having people coming and going is a little risky for a patient that is going through chemotherapy,” Greenall says.

Tony Romeyn, owner of IRL Supplies and co-founder of Windows of Hope, jumped at the chance to help families deal with major medical problems.

“When there’s that separation, keeping families in touch is so vital in the healing process,” says Romeyn, who recently lost a brother-in-law to cancer. “The support we’ve got from the community has been terrific.”

The computer equipment currently set-up at the Hospice House was donated by a local resident who wishes to remain anonymous, and the organization has also received four notebook computers that will allow local families to connect with ailing loved ones in the comfort of their own homes.

For more information go to or call Tony at (250) 613-6269.


Hospice program links families

Southern Interior Rotary Lodge - Kelowna BC

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Link connects loved ones with patients in Kelowna

by FRANK PEEBLES Citizen staff

Prince George families now have a way to talk to loved ones receiving treatment at a cancer lodge in Kelowna, thanks to a new videoconference system.

The special camera system at the Southern Interior Rotary Lodge in Kelowna, which allows patients to see and hear family via a portable laptop in Prince George, is a first for B.C.

"As I was testing it, a whole bunch of patients gathered around, and the quick question I heard was 'can I get that in my community?' because there are patients here from Salmon Arm, Merritt, Williams Lake, so the answer I have is this is a pilot project and we hope to expand it to other communities," said Tony Romeyn, a Prince George businessman who founded the project called Windows of Hope.

Romeyn was approached more than a year ago by Loriann Greenall, a friend who had a sister undergoing cancer treatments far from home in the summer of 2004.

"I remember there were times when (sister Tammy) had such a difficult time being away, she was often very discouraged, and I often thought how unfair it was," Greenall said. "Her family couldn't afford to come down to visit often or pack up and be with her for those six weeks. By the end of the first week they were all already feeling that separation. You are alone, you are in a clinical environment, you are facing scary obstacles and that is when you want to be in the best possible frame of mind."

Romeyn learned the technology did exist, but it was expensive, which meant most most cancer facilities he approached were reluctant to join the project, until he found an ally at the Kelowna cancer lodge.

"Kelowna was very excited, so much so that we decided to put all our efforts into that one place, to get things up and running," Romeyn said. "We will get it going there and use it to show other cancer facilities or children's hospitals ... that indeed this can be done at a very reasonable cost and very easily."

The Windows of Hope were thrown open by the University of Northern B.C.

Dr. Waqar Haque leads UNBC's industrial collaborative research group. Normally he and his team charge commercial rates for developing software and building computer systems, but they were so moved by the proposal that they did most of the development for free. Haque also approached the industry and found all the hardware the project would need at insider prices.

"We have a nice working solution we delivered to him (Romeyn) last week," said Haque, including ongoing maintenance and a street-language user manual so patients and their loved ones can operate it easily. "The computer just rings like a phone, you pick up, and there you are, on-line."

Haque said it was a difficult process to develop the system on the scant budget Romeyn had to offer them, but now that it is done, it is cheap and easy to replicate in other places.

Anyone who would like to know more can go to the program's website at

©Copyright 2006 Prince George Citizen




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