“Windows of Hope – Keeping Families
The focus of this project is to help people
who have been diagnosed with a
maintain contact with their loved ones when treatment is not
available within their community. The goal is to provide families
with computers that are equipped with Video/Voice capabilities
(Webcams). These computers will allow the patient and their families
to see and talk to one another on a daily basis without
the long distance calling charges.
When specialized treatment is not available
within your community it
often means periods of time away from family and friends for periods
of 6-8 weeks, possibly longer. The time spent away from ones
emotional support group can cause additional emotional stress,
therefore making the treatment a lonely and sad time.
Having to juggle work
schedules, finances, and often times daycare for children adds to
the emotional stress of the
entire family during an already
difficult time. It is during this time of illness that we need each
other most and it’s at this crucial time families are separated.
This past year I have met four families who have received or are
receiving cancer treatment 500 miles away from their families and
Windows of Hope is dedicated to two of these families, Elsa
Aspen who fought a courageous battle with cancer for more than
year and Tammy Smeds a mother of five who today is fighting the
battle of her life. Tammy had surgery August 2004 to remove a brain
tumor. She was required to stay in Vancouver while her partner and
their children remained in Prince George. Tammy has stated that her
stay in Vancouver would have been more bearable if she could just
“see her children”. That seeing
them and talking to them would have given her the strength that she
needed to continue with her treatment.
It is our hope that
Windows of Hope, with the
assistance of our combined communities, will make it possible to
erase the miles between families through “Windows of Hope”.
This will give families the ability to stay close when the miles
seem so long between them.
The first stage of the Windows of Hope
project has been tested and completed thanks in part to the generous
donation by Shaw Cable of two high-speed Internet connections.
A new partner in our
project is the University of Northern BC - UNBC. UNBC
has assisted us with the necessary video conferencing software.
computers with video/voice conferencing capabilities (webcam) have
been installed in the home of cancer patient Tammy Smeds who resides
in Prince George and the home of
Loriann Greenall – Tammy’s sister who
resides in the Kelowna region.
Loriann and I are working on this project together. I first met
Loriann when she began volunteering her time with the RCMP – Victim
Services unit. Loriann has a background in Social Work and has been
working for the Ministry of Human Resources for the past six years.
I am very glad to be working with her on this project.
Prince George, BC
Friday March 02, 2007
300 Visits before January 1, 2006