One Year On, We’re Grateful to Anna Czajezncky

By Cancer Foundation on March 1 / 2021


At this time last year, our staff were putting the final touches on an event to honour Simon and Anna Czajezncky for their generous support of families facing cancer.

But then COVID-19 hit, and like every event across the city, Anna’s celebration was cancelled. And since we still can’t come together to celebrate a pillar of our community an entire year later, for now we’re determined to say “Thank You!” and share Anna’s story.

Guided by values of hard work, sacrifice, modesty and giving back, Simon and Anna Czajezncky (née Slep) have been active and generous throughout the Ottawa community, supporting numerous causes in healthcare and education.

Anna was born in Krakow, Poland on May 20, 1933. As a young girl, she escaped from Auschwitz concentration camp, survived the Holocaust, and came to Canada as a teenager. In Montreal, she met Simon, her future husband, a manager at the Bank of Nova Scotia. She studied at McGill University and went on to have a successful career in nursing, working with Dr. Wilbert Keon at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.

Simon and Anna enjoyed a marriage of more than 40 years, and loved to travel – in a favourite Buick – until  Simon’s passing in 2001. Anna has a love for music, singing and gardening, and has a special penchant for orchids, which she affectionately refers to as “her babies”.

Last February (pre-Covid), Anna visited the Maplesoft-GumDocs Centre for Cancer Survivorship and took great pride in personally choosing the location of her plaque. It is featured in the foyer and serves as an elegant reminder of Simon and Anna’s fortitude and their generosity to others.

We are proud to count Anna as a Cancer Champion and friend, and look forward to the day we can celebrate with her in person. Her gift will support ground-breaking medical research and customized care that leads to better outcomes and treatments for hundreds of local families facing cancer!


Anna at the Foundation in early 2020, pre-pandemic


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