Vernon’s Beryl Nerling (seated) helped lead a $60,000 fundraising campaign that led to the purchase of 10 new chairs for the Vernon Renal Centre, including the one Nerling, a dialysis patient, is sitting in. Joining Nerling for a small celebration includes nurses Jackie Cross and Wanda Remfert (from left), Chandel Schmidt of the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation, campaign contributors Janice Clements and her dad, Jim Gray, Holly Love, KGH manager of renal programs, nurse Jennifer Ross and Nerling’s son, Jim Reed. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

Okanagan dialysis chairs campaign complete

Led by Vernon 93-year-old mom and grandmother Beryl Nerling, $60,000 raised provides 10 new chairs

How can you say no to a 93-year-old grandmother?

Well, most people couldn’t. And because of that, Vernon kidney dialysis patient Beryl Nerling reached her goal of raising $60,000 for 10 new dialysis chairs at the Vernon Renal Centre.

“I never thought it would go that good,” said Nerling, sitting in one of the new chairs at the centre. “I remember the day I was asked to head up a team to get money for the chairs. It took me about seven months to think about it. Then, once we started, it took three months to get the money. “Thank you to everyone who contributed.”

Nerling’s goal was to make the dialysis patient more comfortable during the long procedure (four hours), and improve the working conditions for nurses.

While the old chairs were mechanically operated, the new chairs have small electric motors that allow the patient to easily adjust the chair, and allows the nurse to conveniently position the patient without compromising safety. Attachments for the chairs that will allow patients to exercise while undergoing treatment are also on order.

READ MORE: Donation kickstarts dialysis campaign

Calgary’s Jim Gray, whose late wife Josie was a dialysis patient, helped advocate for the new chairs. He and his family kicked off the Vernon fundraising campaign with a $6,000 donation, the cost of one new chair, in memory of Josie, who died in 2015, and as a tribute to Nerling.

Josie would use the old chairs while on visits to Vernon. Gray saw the benefits of the new chairs in Calgary as she underwent dialysis.

READ MORE: Dialysis chairs fundraising target close

“The chairs in Calgary and Vernon are made in Australia by a Germany company. They’ve had them in Calgary for 18 months and chairs have been changed as a result of testing in Calgary,” said Gray, who flew into Vernon to attend the chair ceremony along with his daughter, Janice Clements. “They are the best chairs in the world. Now it’s just a matter of propagating their use.”

The Kelowna General Hospital Foundation handled the funds during the fundraising as KGH manages renal programs for the Okanagan. Foundation executive director Doug Rankmore was thoroughly impressed with the new chairs and with the woman who spearheaded the fundraising.

“None of this would have been possible if not for Beryl’s leadership,” he said.

More than two million Canadians have some form of kidney disease, and nearly 20,000 receive long-term hemodialysis. That involves going to a dialysis centre three days a week for approximately three hours each visit.

The patient sits in a special chair during the procedure which cleans their blood of toxins, the job a healthy functioning kidney performs.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Treacherous road leads to North Shuswap front-end collision

Chase RCMP say icy, steep, narrow road likely to blame for accident

Suspected drunk driving in Shuswap leads to discovery of rifle

Driver claims weapon for protection against cougars and bears

Thieves on gasoline-themed mission target North Shuswap

Chase RCMP ask residents to help prevent crimes of opportunity

The price of child poverty: Women parenting alone forced to live harsh reality

Latest figures available show 1,630 children in Columbia Shuswap Regional District living in poverty

Salmon Arm family has unique tie to original Stanley Cup

Shuswap residents will have opportunity to view iconic trophy on March 7.

Police dog located accused murderer in dumpster near West Kelowna crime scene

Tejwant Danjou’s application to have his impromptu guilty plea removed was accepted by the court

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

Trans Canada east of Revelstoke to be closed overnight

The highway will reopen at 10 a.m. Feb. 29

Leap Year means we get an extra day in February, so how are you spending it?

People online have a number of suggestions and plans on how they will be spending Saturday

Greta sticker that drew outrage in Alberta not child pornography: RCMP

X-Site Energy Services has denied having anything to do with the stickers

Bald eagle hit by train in northern B.C. has a chance of survival

The raptor has been taken to OWL in the Lower Mainland for recovery

Salmon Arm history in pictures

Skiing is good up Rifle Range Road

Okanagan Indian Band voices support for Wet’suwet’en Nation

Band stands with hereditary chiefs’ fight against Coastal GasLink pipeline in letter to PM

Most Read