One woman in the Elk Valley is doing her part to help raise money and awareness for Angel Flight.
Donna Young started making and selling decorated candle jars in August. She charges just $5 for the jars, which she decorates herself in the evenings and include the jar itself, a macrame cover and a tea light.
“I wanted to raise $200 for Angel Flight plus raise awareness about Angel Flight so I started in the summer,” she explained. “I’ve only managed by word of mouth to sell some jars and right now they are available at Freyja, Coal Town and Elevation Showcase.”
So far, Young has raised $105 and is hoping that by Christmas time, the community will rally together and help her reach her fundraising goal of $200.
Young started selling the jars when she was working part-time at Interior Envy. When locals and tourists alike would come to the store, and hear her explanation as to what she was making and why, there wasn’t a single person who didn’t buy one.
Angel Flight is a fully volunteer-run charity that flies residents of the East Kootenay to treatment centres in Kelowna for free.
“I think it’s an amazing initiative that people are willing to volunteer their time to try and organize something relatively complex and very costly to provide a flight instead of people having a 14-15 hour drive, return trip,” Young said of her decision to fundraise for Angel Flight.
Young understands first hand how anxious hospital visits can make you and your loved ones when you have an illness. Despite being a non-smoker her entire life, Young was diagnosed with lung cancer after a gall bladder attack sent her to the hospital. She noted that the imaging for her gall bladder attack showed that she had a tumour in her lung.
According to Young, it was a complete accident that they even found the tumour and “otherwise it would have been stage 4 before it was found and it would have been too late to do anything.”
“They found it totally by accident and I had surgery and apparently you have lots of extra lung so it’s not a big deal and they removed a big hunk of it and now it’s been five years. I have one more checkup which should be very, very soon and then I can be considered cancer-free.”
At the time of her surgery, Young was living in Kelowna. She said that the care she received in Kelowna was really great and that it made her think about how difficult it would be to have to drive such a distance to receive care.
“I still am anxious when my six month checkup comes,” Young noted. “So having to spend that length of time in the car worrying, or being sick all the way, it would be horrible.”
Anyone who is interested in purchasing one of Young’s jars can stop into Freyja, Coal Town, or Elevation Showcase. You can also reach out directly to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.