This past October, "A Night for Neil - The Neil Peart Memorial Celebration" was held at Meridian Centre in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. A tribute to the RUSH drummer, who born in Hamilton and raised in St. Catharines, the event's proceeds benefited St. Catharines hospital and Walker Family Cancer Centre, Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre and Hospice Niagara.
Peart died of glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer, on January 7, 2020 in Santa Monica, California. He was 67.
"That is our local cancer center, RVH [Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre]," his sister, Nancy Peart Burkholder, told Barrie Today.
"My dad's best friend has brain cancer. My dad was taking him for treatment three times a week at RVH and a lot of our friends who have had cancer have been through RVH cancer center. It's become a really big deal to us and so we just continued to help fund their (cancer) center program.
"A lot of friends and family have been through the RVH doors."
Regarding her involvement with Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre, Peart Burkholder said: "When Neil passed away, I started with RVH because it is our local cancer center. We developed our Peart family charity profile with RVH and we've been raising funds there ever since."
Earlier this year, Peart's RUSH bandmate Geddy Lee revealed that the drummer wanted to keep his cancer diagnosis a secret prior to his death.
"[Peart] didn't want anyone to know [about his illness]," Lee said on Canadian talk show "House Of Strombo". "He just didn't. He wanted to keep it in the house. And we did. And that was hard. I can't tell you it was easy, 'cause it was not easy. And it was ongoing. His diagnosis was… he was given 18 months at the most, and it went on three and a half years. And so that was a constant flow of us going to see him, giving him support."
Lee went on to say that he and RUSH guitarist Alex Lifeson had to be "dishonest" to fans in order to protect Peart's privacy.
"What his family had to live through was really difficult, so it was a lot of back-and-forth," he said. "And when you're in that state, it's very hard to function normally, because you can't talk to anybody about it, 'cause no one's supposed to know. And so people hear rumblings and they bring things up to you, and you deflect it. And so that feels, on one hand, it feels dishonest, but on the other hand you're being loyal to your friend. So fuck the dishonesty part. That wins."
He continued: "I would say that was the most difficult time for us to move forward, during that whole thing, because we were in this bubble of grief sort of walking towards an inevitable and terrible conclusion."