February 20, 2015

Kelly Clemmer, Editor-in-Chief

Heartstrings and Roses gala raises $82,000 for new diagnostic equipment

Valentine’s Day night was an evening of music, entertainment, and fundraising for equipment for the Wainwright Health Centre.
The Wainwright and District Health Board Foundation hosted its annual Heart Strings and Roses Gala on Saturday, February 14 at the Wainwright Elks Hall.
Chair of the Heath Board Foundation, Myron Zajic spoke to the crowd of the importance of the Foundation and the donations made to the hospital equipment fund, as well as his own personal experience in the health care system.
“What a difference a year makes. No one is happier than me, to be here tonight,” said Zajic. “One year ago, last October I ended up in the University Hospital with acute kidney failure and diagnosed with stage three multiple myeloma, which is bone marrow cancer.
“It turned out to be a very trying and emotional time for me not knowing from day to day how my body was going to react to treatment or if it would,” said Zajic.
“I have come to believe never to under estimate the power of thoughts and prayers and the magic of science and medicine,” he said. “I drew an inner strength from these thoughts and prayers to get me through a very rough time. Family support and the support of the community seemed that was the only hope I had, everything at that point and time revolved around my health.
“After five rounds of intense chemo and a stem-cell replacement this past April we have my cancer in complete remission. I am still dealing with some side effects but it is much better than the alternative,” said Zajic. “My kidneys are permanently damaged but have recovered to a point I can function without dialysis and can help myself with diet.
“This brings me to my message this evening about acknowledging health care workers. When we talk about Alberta Health Services or Health Care we generalize about not having a new hospital, or not enough doctors or wait times at the Emergency, or no room at an extended care facility and we can’t make doctor’s appointments and the list goes on,” he explained.
“We tend to paint Alberta Health Services with a negative paint brush as if it were somehow the employees fault, or the doctor’s fault, or the nurse’s fault that our issues are not always addressed to our liking,” said Zajic. “Yes, we do have some issues that need to be resolved, however, I can assure you in the majority of cases these front line people want to provide the best possible quality of care they can for you.”
The Gala raised about $82,000 at the Gala and some more donations to come in.
“We’re very pleased with the support and generosity of community and industry around Wainwright and area,” said Zajic. “Our tickets sales were down marginally, but still had a good crowd.”
This year’s fundraiser called for vital diagnostic equipment, which includes, a Pro Analyzer for analyzing blood in the lab, $31,000, Glide scope handle, for opening throat airways and diagnosing, $6,000; Accu vein, portable system for locating collapsed veins, $5,000; a vital sign machine. $6,000 and a Versa Care Air bed for long term care for $13,000, for a total of $61,000.
“We feel this year’s project will enhance and improve the comfort of many patients at the Wainwright Health Center,” said Zajic.
Matt Gauthier, an impersonator, singer, comedian was the performer for the evening.
“Matt was an excellent, excellent entertainer and I am sure pleased everyone that attended,” said Zajic. “We are very pleased once again on hosting such a worthwhile and successful event.”
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