A Maple Ridge woman who has made the decision to donate a kidney to a man in desperate need received an unexpected honour from Maple Ridge city hall.
On Thursday, the Municipal Advisory Committee on Accessibility and Inclusiveness (MACAI) held its 16th annual awards event, recognizing individuals, businesses, agencies and organizations who have made a difference in the lives of individuals with diverse abilities and challenges.
A number of people and agencies were recognized, and an additional honour was awarded this year to Debi Pearce, as a Community Champion.
“Debi was nominated for her selfless decision to donate one of her kidneys to a wonderful young man, Geoff Dunsire,” said a press release. “Debi is a long time local realtor who heard of Geoff’s need and worked to make the living donation happen. Geoff has undergone many difficult obstacles in his life and has always fought back, however, his latest battle is the need for a new kidney. Debi’s donation, will give Geoff, the ultimate gift, his quality of life. The operation is due to take place this coming week.”
MACAI is a joint committee of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows that advises both councils on accessibility and inclusiveness. MACAI is comprised of council liaisons, service providers and members at large and strives to remove the social, physical, psychological and financial barriers that prevent individuals from fully participating in all aspects of community life. MACAI’s focus is to create awareness and equal access in the areas of customer service, volunteerism, financial assistance, employment, education, transportation, recreation and universal access.
This year’s awards recipients:
• Intergenerational Garden, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows and Katzie Senior Network;
• Shawn Ellison;
• Patrick Hughes, Annette Morgan, and Kristi Morrison;
• Randy MacKirdy, employee, London Drugs;
• Peter, Employee Telus;
• Kurt Eslinger, assistant manager, Canadian Tire;
• Joys Sooley, Ridge Meadows Seniors Society;
• Bernadette Travares, Ridge Meadows Recycling Society;
• Julie Brown, Chelsea Hordichunck, Jessica Apedail and Renuka Preocanin, therapists, School District No. 42;
• Dementia Friendly Task Group;
• Carissa Keenan, teacher, School District No. 42;
• Dr Bryson Chow.