Community Papers

Giving a local the gift of time

 The Lightburn family are hoping that area residents will show up for an auction and dinner to help Kelly (Lightburn) Guenther (seated) as she is soon to undergo a double lung transplant. - Photo submitted
The Lightburn family are hoping that area residents will show up for an auction and dinner to help Kelly (Lightburn) Guenther (seated) as she is soon to undergo a double lung transplant.
— image credit: Photo submitted

Time is precious.

A Jaffray woman has found out just how precious this commodity is after learning that she will require a double lung transplant to live.

Kelly Guenther is looking forward to the community stepping up and helping her to survive to enjoy at least a little more time with her children and grandchildren. This February 10, at the Jaffray Hall, residents are invited to dinner and auctions to help in this difficult time.

Guenther has Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, a condition in which the body does not make enough of a protein that protects the lungs and liver from damage. The condition can lead to emphysema and liver disease. This causes Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, (COPD).

“It’s totally irreversible,” said Guenther. “I need a double lung transplant to save my life now.”

While she has had this condition for most of her life, Guenther spent many years being misdiagnosed before a doctor found the real cause of her illness.

“They would tell me I had panic and anxiety. I told them they would  panic too if they couldn’t breathe.”

The procedure will take place at the University Hospital in Edmonton. Guenther has just learned that she has been accepted for a six-week physiotherapy regimen that she must undergo to strengthen her body for the operation.

After the operation however, she will need to stay in Edmonton for three to six months to recover.

“They are very strict about having someone there with me,” said Guenther. “My husband’s work will accommodate him as much as they can, but he may have to leave from time to time.”

Because of the extended stay in Edmonton, Rick Lightburn, Guenther’s father, said that the family could use any funds possible to help. While the operation and anti-rejection drugs should be covered, the accommodations and possibly some other medical costs will come out of the family’s pocket.

On February 10, the family is hoping that residents of Jaffray and the surrounding area will come to the Jaffray Hall for a lasagne dinner and a live and silent auction, with the proceeds going to help Guenther’s family. Donations will also be welcome.

Items up for auction include packages put together by local businesses, artists and residents who have donated valuable items to help give Guenther the precious time needed to watch her grandchildren grow up.

For more information, contact Diana or Wade Lightburn at 250-429-3582 or email them at


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