VANCOUVER — A Vancouver family known for its philanthropy is making a $20 million donation to a British Columbia substance use treatment centre in memory of their adult son and brother who died of an opioid overdose.
Jill Diamond, executive director of Vancouver’s Diamond Foundation and sister to Steven Diamond, says her brother may still be alive today if he had received the care being offered at Vancouver’s St. Paul’s Hospital.
She says in a statement the donation to the St. Paul’s Foundation will help fund the hospital’s Road to Recovery program that aims to fill treatment gaps by cutting weeks off waitlists and providing supports to patients through a full spectrum of treatment services in one location.
The Diamond family is expected to attend a news conference today in Vancouver outlining the donation.
Jill Diamond says her brother was known as a giving addictions counsellor and massage therapist who, despite long periods of sobriety, faced a prolonged struggle with substance use disorder that saw him in and out of treatment.
She says her 53-year-old brother was on a waitlist to see an addiction psychiatrist in 2016 when he died of a fentanyl overdose one week before his appointment.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 12, 2023.