Threads of Life there for families with life-altering pain
-by Rankin MacDonald
Corey and Jennifer
For Corey MacDonald, formerly of Inverness, and his girlfriend, Jennifer, it is a very personal story prompting them to say,
“I challenge you to show me a job description that says:
– 3 to 4 years experience in related business;
– Must be able to lift 20 pounds
– Ability to get hurt at work and just `brush it off’.
`Yet, we all think getting hurt is `just part of the job’.”
When it comes to our jobs we quickly become accustomed to our responsibilities and duties: finding efficient ways to get things done. In doing so, safety in the workplace sometimes takes second place in executing these day to day duties. Unfortunately, in doing so, this is where mistakes happen and employees get injured. Most times the injury is minor, other times, life altering and way too many times fatal.
As much safety awareness as there is throughout Canada, these situations continue to happen. The focus needs to be more on working safer and smarter rather than simply working hard or working fast.
Threads of Life (www.threadsoflife.ca) is a nationwide non-profit charity group which assists individuals and their families who have experienced a life altering injury, occupational disease or workplace fatality. Threads of Life helps families of those who were hurt or killed just because they went to work.
Threads of Life holds annual “Steps for Life” 5K walks across Canada in May as one of the main fund-raisers. The 5K walk begins with a stroll down “memory lane” with pictures of those who were killed, brief descriptions of family members with life-altering injuries caused by work. The walk is attended by individuals or team members in different areas with Halifax, bringing in 300 to 400 people.
“I haven’t personally experienced a workplace fatality of a loved one and don’t wish this on anyone. However, I do know someone close to me who has, my girlfriend and best friend Jennifer. Jennifer lost her boyfriend Gerry and his father Gerald Blackburn (fishermen), who went out on the second to last day of lobster season but did not return home. This tragedy happened on May 27th, 2008 and changed the community of Lower Prospect forever. It was said that their fishing boat had capsized in rough waters, sending both men into the cold May Atlantic Ocean where they both drowned,” Corey MacDonald said.
“The bodies of both were found two days later.
`Hearing a similar story from a mere few weeks ago of a number of young fishermen from the South Shore who also lost their lives while fishing hits close to home with both Jennifer and me.
`Jennifer is a volunteer for Threads of Life. She, along with other volunteers, present their tragic story reminding people of the impact one mistake can make and how a lack of workplace safety has on not only her, but the community.”
“We decided about 14 months ago that we were going to do something special for the five-year anniversary of when Gerry was killed; it’s the least he deserves. We decided to fund-raise and run a marathon in Trieste, Italy in May, 2013. We pledged to raise $15,000 for the Threads of Life charity, and in turn they would get us to Italy and registered for the marathon,” Corey added.
Currently they have raised $9,700 and have upcoming fund-raisers in both Inverness and Halifax. With a large help from Tri Harbor Dental in Inverness, they had bought the addictively-scented soy candles, which were a hit with the ladies (great gift, gentlemen) and are available for sale from parents Angela and Richard MacDonald of Inverside.
On April 20th they are planning a half marathon (21 km) fun run in Inverness. Entry will be $40 or free with pledges of $100 or more for Threads of Life.
“My family, Richard, Angela and Krista MacDonald are arranging a possible auction and dance for that same evening. To register or for more info please contact us: Angela and Richard (258-3376), Krista (430-4259), or Corey (Halifax), email@example.com. Anyone who can help us in any way would be greatly appreciated,” Corey said.
On April 6th, they will be holding an auction and dance at the Clay West Bar and Grill in Bayer’s Lake, Halifax. Tickets can be bought at the door.
Personal or company donations can also be made through http://2013MarathonInMemoryOfGerry.kintera.org/.
“I know there are many individuals and families out there with life-altering effects and losses through workplace accidents in Inverness County that are not aware of Threads of Life charity. Please, in your own time, feel free to contact the charity should you wish to get involved,” Corey concluded.
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