Friday, August 22, 2008

Civitan Club provides affordable housing for lung transplant patients


The Toronto Lung Transplant Civitan Club's major community service project has been to raise enough money to acquire affordable accommodation for out-of-town patients who must live near Toronto General Hospital (Ontario, Canada) while waiting for a lung transplant. Some patients wait for months or years before they get the call for their "Gift of Life". - (read the CBC News Report about the plight of Marilyn MacKay of Nova Scotia who has spent her life savings, over $20,000, waiting in Toronto since August, 2007 for her lung transplant).

I am very happy to report that the Civitan Club's dreams have finally been realized. Linda Lycett and her group have my heartfelt congratulations. I'll let Linda, double-lung recipient, tell the story in her own words:

"Hi Merv
After all these years of fundraising and ripping out our hair, I am happy to let you know that the condo units have finally come to fruition, and we will be housing patients by mid-September.

They are located a block and a half north of #7 Highway on Kipling Avenue in Woodbridge. We got the keys this weekend, and will be going out next week to pick out all the furnishings. We were extemely lucky to have 8 twin beds donated by Kingsdown Bedding and a substantial gift card from Hudson's Bay Company. (We decided on twin beds because the support person is not always a spouse).

Some of the other clubs and the patients have donated dishes, microwaves, etc. and we have also had some very generous monetary donations that we will be able to put directly into the rest of the furnishings. We are going to put a large TV in the living room and one in each bedroom. The common area - kitchen, living room and dining room will be shared, but they will have their own bedrooms and washrooms, running down each side. There is also a laundry room and large balcony in each unit.

This has been very exciting, and although it seems to have been a long time coming and an unbelievable amount of organization and work, it is finally becoming a reality.

Ursula Dignard, the Social Worker with the Lung Transplant Group has been giving patients my name and number to call regarding Rental Applications and we have two couples ready now who are waiting to move in. If you are aware of any patients who are in the process of moving to Toronto and looking for reasonable accommodation, please feel free to have them call me* and I will send them out an application. The rent will be $675.00 and this will include all utilities - hydro, telephone, internet, etc. *(e-mail me for Linda's contact info - Merv.)

If you need any more information, please feel free to get in touch with me at any time, but I thought with your wide range of contacts and patients, you may be able to pass this on for us.
Linda Lycett."

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