I was born and raised in a small farming community in rural Saskatchewan. I wanted to go into medicine from a very early age. My youngest brother had leukemia, so our life was always filled with doctors, and one of them in particular, inspired me to pursue it. I graduated from Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan in 1985. I did my Anesthesiology residency in Saskatoon as well, and did Obstetric Anesthesia at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. I have been working in Saskatoon since 1990.
I have been going to the SOAP meeting most years since 1988. In 2005 I heard Dr. Medge Owen make a presentation at the meeting about Kybele, and its work in Turkey and Croatia. She is such an inspiration to me! At that meeting, I also met Dr. Frank Boni – an anesthetist from Ghana.
Medge decided to take Kybele to work in Ghana and I immediately signed up – going on my first trip in 2006. What an eye-opening experience it was! I have been on 5 trips since then!
Living and working with such a terrific group of doctors and nurses from all over the world has been an amazing experience for me. I have learned so much from the people that I travel with, as well as having the chance to make a meaningful difference in the lives of Ghanaian women. They appreciate our efforts so very much, and I know that we are making a difference in the quest to reduce maternal and perinatal mortality in Ghana. The work that I do there also helps me to keep the rest of my life in perspective, as well.
When I returned from my first trip to Ghana – I discovered that an outstanding organization existed right here in my hometown! The Canadian Food for the Hungry has its International Medical Equipment Distribution Program in Saskatoon. They have a huge warehouse that collects and refurbishes medical equipment from all over Canada. This equipment can then be shipped to anywhere in the world. All one has to do is to pay for the shipping of the equipment. For $10,000 to $16,000 a person can ship a forty foot container filled with between one and two million dollars of medical equipment and supplies overseas. We have raised the money to ship three of these containers to Kybele’s projects in Ghana. When we are in Ghana, we get to see how these supplies and equipment are helping as well.
I hope that I am able to continue this extremely fulfilling work with Kybele and CFftH for many years.