The Story Behind the Vicky Bach Memorial Nursing Award

Grants & Funding, Stories of Impact

‘Education is the one thing that people can’t take away from you’. Vicky and Josh understood, first hand, how money can be a significant barrier for young people wanting to pursue a post-secondary education. 

Vicky Bach earned her first university degree at the age of 43. A lifelong learner, she obtained her Masters about 10 years later while working full time as a clinical nurse.

Once Vicky graduated from high school, her parents told her not to think of university because there was no money. Undaunted, she still chose to find other ways to learn. She went on to become a secretary and did various jobs, going on to marry Josh and raise a family of her own.

When Vicky had her first child, she found the process of labour and delivery difficult in ways she hadn’t expected. Her prenatal classes did not prepare her for the reality that she experienced. As a result, she decided to become a certified prenatal teacher, but she felt she wanted to, and could do more. Then she started working towards being a mid-wife which was not yet recognized in the Province of Ontario. She then moved on to get her university degree to become a nurse, graduating at the top of her class. 

Once she and her husband moved out West, to Abbotsford, Vicky took on a role as a Clinical Nurse Specialist with Fraser Health. Over the years, she earned many honours and was widely recognized for her approach to finding new and innovative ways to make the work that nurses do, better, more effective, and more practical for their patients. 

In mid-2013, Vicky was diagnosed with ALS and she passed away 18 months later. While she was sick, Josh asked her if she would like an award created in her name. Education had given her so much satisfaction in life, helping others with her expertise and competence had made her feel so valued, that giving the gift of education to others made complete sense to her and she immediately said, ‘yes’. 

When Josh set up the award, he wanted to ensure that Vicky’s interests and passions were remembered in some way, too. He made sure to include these in the criteria of the award which is earmarked for students wanting to go into nursing. Among the many things that Vicky is remembered for, this award honours her legacy, her determination to always learn, and her passion for education. 

Listen to Josh as he explains why he’s a student award maker with the Abbotsford Community Foundation.

Learn how you can become a student award maker, too! Please contact our Executive Director, Areni Kelleppan –


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