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Jones, Sunrise Seniors show support for palliative care program

Beverly Mason and Geraldine McGill from the Sunrise Seniors join club member Walter Jones in presenting a cheque for $1,210 to palliative care nurse Amy Thurston.
Beverly Mason and Geraldine McGill from the Sunrise Seniors join club member Walter Jones in presenting a cheque for $1,210 to palliative care nurse Amy Thurston. - Contributed
AMHERST, N.S. —

The Sunrise Senior’s club in Lower Shinimicas is a small group with about eight active members that meet in a building on the Lower Shinimicas Road they manage for dances, musical evenings, cards, parties and fellowship.

Walter and Patricia Jones found themselves there a number of years ago when Patricia’s brother, Jess Thompson, played in a band that was performing for a dance. They’ve been going ever since.

Walter said that it’s a nice calm place where you find good people. Walter’s condition means they can no longer attend as he relies on oxygen and finds that he can’t go out like he used to.

When the club members heard that Walter was now under palliative care they wanted to do something for him. Walter had worked hard at the club over the years and had been instrumental in securing a grant to have the roof replaced last summer. The process took two years.

The club decided to raise funds for Walter and organized a number of different events. People and companies from as far away as Tatamagouche, Wallace, Pugwash and Oxford contributed money and products.

Geraldine McGill made a fruitcake for a silent auction that sold for an astonishing $41. The group had the silent auction and a musical evening where 42 people attended.

In all $1,210 was raised.

Walter truly appreciates all the trouble everyone went to but said he really doesn’t need the money.

“The word appreciate doesn’t really say what I feel. I deal in words and now I have no words. My health care needs are being met by palliative care and I want to donate the money to them,” he said to palliative care nurse Amy Thurston. “I am not the last person you will be looking after.

“I have a terminal disease which causes a lot of stress. I’m not anxious to go. It puts big stress on my family too. When I need to de-stress, palliative care steps in when I need them. I can tell Amy things I don’t want to stress my family with. I can whine and cry a bit if I want.”

Club member Beverley Mason read a moving letter to Walter that expressed how the club members feel about him and Geraldine McGill presented him with the cheque which he, in turn, presented to Amy.

The money will go to the Cumberland Health Care Foundation’s Palliative Care fund which helps patients and their families with costs associated with their care, and supports the palliative care team in their work.

“We are so grateful to Walter and Patricia Jones, and to the members of the Sunrise Senior’s Club for the tremendous effort they put into honouring Walter, “said Cumberland Heatlh Care Foundation managing director Gwen Kerr. “It was a pleasure to meet with everyone and hear their stories. This is a very special group of people.”

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