Garden City community correspondent
Jennifer Laferriere is a community correspondent for Garden City.
Recent articles of Jennifer Laferriere
January is when everyone makes plans and sets goals. Resolutions to do better this year or to improve something in their lives. Whether they are personal or professional goals, I think we all have something we want to achieve. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to make a huge change in your life. And some people don’t even set goals. How about setting one really easy goal that could change a lot of lives for the better? One that would only take a couple of minutes?I’m talking about organ donation. Set a goal to become an organ donor and do it. It literally takes only a few minutes and your health card. All you have to do is go online to www.signupforlife.ca and register. It’s really that easy. This year is signupforlife.ca’s 10-year anniversary, and it’s hard to believe that it’s been that long since people could throw away their blue donor cards and register online. Now your intentions can be easily accessed and your family will know exactly what your wishes were. In the 10 years since the site was launched, 59,200 potential donors have registered. Although this number is absolutely wonderful, we know it can be so much greater. Manitoba has a population of over 1.3 million people, so 59,200 isn’t actually that many. I know we can do much better than this. Transplant Manitoba has set a goal for this 2022 They would like to see 10,000 new registrations in celebration of 10 years of signupforlife.ca.For those who don’t know, I received a new kidney almost six years ago and my whole life changed because of a kind stranger. I know what life is like when waiting for an organ donation. I am lucky enough to know what it’s like to receive one. If you’ve ever thought about organ donation or if you’ve been wanting to do it but have been putting it off, now is your chance to make a huge difference in many lives. Please go to signupforlife.ca and register. Make a difference in this world. Make this your goal for 2022.Jennifer Laferriere is a community correspondent for Garden City.
January is when everyone makes plans and sets goals. Resolutions to do better this year or to improve something in their lives. Whether they are personal or professional goals, I think we all have something we want to achieve.
Sometimes it can be overwhelming to make a huge change in your life. And some people don’t even set goals.
How about setting one really easy goal that could change a lot of lives for the better? One that would only take a couple of minutes?
Signupforlife.ca is a really important website. This is where you can register to become and organ and tissue donor. It only takes your health card and a few minutes.
The website launched in 2012 and so far over 58,000 people have registered. That’s a large number but not when compared to how many people there are in Manitoba.
Did you know by being an organ donor you can save up to eight lives plus you also could improve as many as 75 lives. It’s a simple gift that could give a stranger a chance to live a normal life, not to mention more time with their family and friends.
Waiting for an organ is one of the hardest things to live with. My life was never normal while I waited for a new kidney. I relied on a machine to keep me alive and it was extremely difficult.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected us all in some way or another. Loss of jobs, working hours cut, being able to spend time with our families... so many things have been affected.
But small businesses have really been hit the hardest, between bars and restaurants being closed and retailers being asked to limit the numbers of people in their stores. With all the big-name stores in the marketplace remaining open, many small businesses just can’t compete.
While some are struggling, others have had to close altogether. It’s a struggle to continue on with rent, bills and not enough income. There really isn’t any other choice for these businesses but to close. And it’s a huge loss when these businesses have been around for many years and are well-known in their communities.
So what can we do to make a difference and help struggling businesses? Shop local. That’s the answer.
April 6 marked the third anniversary of the tragic Humboldt Broncos bus crash in Saskatchewan that took the lives of 16 people. Most were young players for the Broncos, a team in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. The news of this tragedy spread quickly and hit hard.
The team was on its way to a playoff game when its bus was struck by a semi. The accident changed the lives of many people.
Among the people that lost their lives that day was 21-year-old Logan Boulet, a player on team.
Logan had signed his organ donor card just weeks before, on his birthday. He also notified his family of his wishes. So when his parents knew he wasn’t going to survive they did what their son wanted. They donated his organs, and Logan improved six lives with his donation.
Sure, we got some snow last week but March was beautiful. We have been so lucky. And with public health restrictions loosening up, everyone one wants to be outside enjoying this weather.
The parking lots at stores are busy. Retail outlets that have long been closed are once again open and everyone wants to go shopping. I can understand that. I haven’t been inside a Walmart in over a year. But are we rushing things?
I’ve never been terrified of this virus, even though I am immunocompromised. I’m just very cautious, and I’m not willing to take unnecessary chances with my health. I stay away from people and stores. We do online shopping only, which is really great and convenient.
I recently had to make an unavoidable trip to a hospital emergency room. Now, when I say I have go to the hospital then I absolutely need to go to the hospital — I avoided emergency rooms even before COVID-19.
Recently someone very close to me lost a good friend she had known for many years. A young girl passed away, way before her time.
The person I know was devastated when she found out. Her friend had been on life support for a few days. There was no brain activity and, unfortunately, there was nothing doctors could do. She was gone. The family graciously decided to donate her organs.
With this donation, she helped save the lives and vision of 20 people. Twenty people from just one amazing donation.
Losing someone you love can be devastating. How do you continue on? Does donating the organs make things easier? I think so. Just knowing that part of your loved one lives on in others; there has to be some comfort knowing other lives were saved.
I hope everyone is enjoying the new year. Last year was certainly one that none of us will forget.
A new year means a chance to start over and set new goals. Many people make New Year’s resolutions. The most common are usually about getting into shape, eating better, trying something new or reaching a goal you’ve wanted to achieve for years.
So, what about doing something amazing for someone or many people? Something that takes minimal effort and could last for decades but can be one of the most important things you will ever do.
Why not become a registered organ donor? It’s really easy. All you have to do is go to www.signupforlife.ca and register. It takes only a few minutes and all you need is your Manitoba Health card.
When thermometers start to drop I always worry about the stray animals in the city. What will happen to them?
Cats and kittens are everywhere right now. Rescues have run out of room and there are not enough foster families and households, so agencies are overloaded with incoming calls, texts and emails needing to find placement for stray cats and kittens.
Unfortunately, the number of stray cats is so hard to control. For everyone working on the process of getting the numbers down, there are people working against it. What can people do to help out?
First, when deciding to get a new furry family member, go to a shelter/rescue. All of these cats should be spayed and neutered when adopted, or at the age-appropriate time. Make sure that spaying and/or neutering is covered by the rescue of your choice.
Needing an organ transplant is one of the hardest things to deal with. It affects your entire life.
I was diagnosed with kidney disease when I was just 14 years old and something was discovered during a routine examination. That’s when my life changed forever.
My kidneys were working at less than half of their capability. They would continue to decline for years until dialysis was my only chance for survival. That or a kidney transplant.
I chose to do dialysis for longer than anyone would want to do it. And I did every form of dialysis possible.
How is everyone doing?
The last month has been very different for all of us. We are going through something that none of us has experienced before and hopefully won’t have to experience again.
When I first heard about the novel coronavirus or COVID-19, I didn’t think it was as serious as we now know it is. It wasn’t a big deal. We were discussing it one weekend ... and by the next weekend events were being cancelled.
We were set up at the Winnipeg Pet Show when we were notified that it was closing down and had to get everything out immediately. It was shocking. I couldn’t really understand why it was happening.
Happy February everyone.
This is such a wonderful month. Winter is almost over. Spring is getting closer and the days are getting longer. But this month means a lot to me for another reason.
In February 2016 I received a phone call that changed my life. After seven years on a waiting list for a kidney transplant I was told there was a possible kidney for me.
It was the call I had been waiting for. The call I honestly didn’t think I would ever receive. Because of antibodies I have, I matched less than one per cent of the population. Getting a kidney to match me was supposed be near impossible.
Happy New Year to everyone! It’s hard to believe it’s January 2020 already. The years seem to be flying by.
Our December was pretty amazing. The temperatures were so mild. Even January has started off unusually warm.
I’m not complaining, though. I remember some extremely cold Christmas eves and Christmas days. With lots of family and friends to visit, staying inside where it was warm just wasn’t an option. This year it wasn’t a chore to go out at Christmastime. It was actually enjoyable.
However, now that it is January in Winnipeg, the weather will start to get cooler and, being a huge cat lover, I always worry about the stray and abandoned cats that have been left outside to take care of themselves.
The holiday season is approaching and we all know Christmas is the season to give. People are always more generous this time of year.
Getting gifts for family and loved ones is great but what else can you do to make a difference in someone’s life?
Many places around the city are looking for items to give to families in need. A variety of items are always needed — especially toys. There are many underprivileged children who don’t get much, if anything, on Christmas morning. Purchasing toys to donate can make a child very happy. One toy can put a smile on a child’s face, and it doesn’t cost a lot to purchase.
Toy Mountain, an initiative of The Salvation Army, is a great place to donate. Bring new unwrapped toys to their many drop off locations throughout the city, including all Scotiabank locations and all fire stations (for full details, visit toymountain.ca).
Well it looks like winter is here — the part of the year that no one really loves. I can’t believe it is already mid-November. So I need to know, are you ready?
It was crazy back in October when we had that mini snowstorm that took out our hydro lines and many, many trees. Luckily this time around it was a much more gentle introduction to the snow.
Winter is definitely not my favourite time of year although I don’t care for summer either as it is too hot (yes, I said it). But I also hate the cold. My favourite seasons are spring and fall.
It gets so cold here in Winnipeg. So I’m really hoping for a mild winter — if that’s even a thing.