Honouring a last wish of his wife Kim, is the one thing that has kept Lee Page going since January.
Kim asked her husband of 34 years to find a way to let the doctors and nurses at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital know just how grateful she was for their compassionate care in the last days of her life.
All proceeds from purchasing a $5 paper daisy will be donated to the oncology department in the Trail hospital for new equipment, or any other need of the unit’s choosing.
“For 30 days I was at the Trail hospital 24/7, I never left her,” Lee began. “Even though we knew the outcome would be dire, we couldn’t have made it through as well as we did, without the doctors and nurses true care for our well being.”
Kim was always healthy, she only began feeling unwell in October.
Within weeks, she was hospital bound by a rare cancer called Pseudomyxoma Peritonei, or cancer of the appendix.
After a whirlwind of medical treatment in Vancouver and then Kelowna, the couple had to face the truth. Kim wouldn’t have one year of life as originally hoped, an operation would be futile and aggressive chemotherapy would only prolong the inevitable.
By December, Kim and Lee were told she would never go home from the Trail hospital again.
It was that quick, the cancer that vicious.
“My wife needed constant attention and they always went above board,” Lee shared. “My wife was truly grateful for their compassion. She wanted me to think of a way to return the kindness after she passed, so this is her wish.”
For weeks Lee has kept himself occupied in body and spirit by collecting prize donations as part of Kim’s memorial fundraiser. He’s also planned live entertainment by local talent during its last two days.
“This campaign is in memory of a woman who truly always thought of others before herself,” Lee said. “I have no words to express how grateful I am in the outpouring of community spirit and to all those who have donated fabulous prizes.”
The purchase of a $5 paper daisy from March 4 to March 10, will give one entry into a draw and the chance to win a growing list of prizes, all generously donated by 24+ local businesses.
“We have all been affected by cancer, in one way or another,” Lee said. “Let’s remember their battles with a daisy.”
With this small gesture we can honour all those who are still fighting or have lost the battle to this ugly disease, he added.
“In turn, we can help give KBRH the tools necessary to look after the ones we love, and together we can raise awareness to fight this horrible disease.”
By the time she was diagnosed, Kim’s cancer had advanced to Stage IV. That means the cancer had spread from where it started in the appendix to another body organ. This is also called secondary or metastatic cancer.
“It’s one of the rarest cancers, 600 to 1,000 people are diagnosed with this annually,” Lee explained. “There are no symptoms until it’s too late, so her wish is by telling her story, that it may save a life.”
Sunday marks two months to the day Kim passed. March 9 would have been the Page’s 34th wedding anniversary.
The “Give You a Daisy” moniker comes from a popular 1973 ballad that was special to the devoted couple.
“Each day we would sing that song to each other, it was our way of saying good bye,” Lee shared. “This story is a sad one.
“However, through telling it, my hope is that a positive thing might come of it.”