Vernon’s Beryl Nerling (sitting, left) has started a campaign to raise $60,000 for 10 state-of-the-art chairs at the Vernon Dialysis Clinic. Kicking off the campaign with a $6,000 donation for one chair is Janice Clements (right), whose late mom suffered from kidney disease but was more comfortable in the new chairs at a clinic in Calgary. Also on hand for the donation were (back, from left) Vernon clinic nurses Anne Furgason and Jackie Cross, Nerling’s son, Jim Reed, and Chandel Schmidt of the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation, which oversees all renal programs. (Roger Knox/Morning Star)

Donation kickstarts dialysis campaign

Vernon's Beryl Nerling, who suffers from kidney disease, hopes to raise funds for new dialysis chairs

Beryl Nerling is not ready to give up.

The Vernon mom and grandmother is determined to get some more comfortable chairs in the Vernon Dialysis Clinic, near the Real Canadian Superstore, as she and other kidney disease patients seek treatment.

Nerling has started a campaign to raise $60,000 for 10 updgraded chairs that would make patients and clinic staff more comfortable.

“It’s time to get on with it,” said Nerling, joined by her son, Jim Reed, at the clinic as she underwent her regular dialysis session. She was also joined by some special guests, including longtime friend Janice Clements, whose mom also had kidney disease and required hemodialysis for several years before she died in 2013.

As a tribute to her mom and to Nerling, Clements and her family kickstarted Nerling’s fundraising campaign with a $6,000 donation – the cost of one dialysis chair.

“I speak for all of my family in saying that we are both impressed and appreciative of Beryl’s commitment to improve the quality of life of dialysis patients and nurses in Vernon,” said Clements. “We welcome the opportunity to support her initiative.”

Clements’ mother shared Nerling’s goal of making the dialysis patient more comfortable during the long procedure, and improving the working conditions for nurses.

There are state-of-the-art chair at a clinic in Calgary that Clements’ mother attended that achieved both goals.

While the old chairs are mechanically operated, the new chairs have small electric motors that allow the patient to easily adjust the chair, and allows the nurse to conveniently position the patient without compromising safety.

“The chairs have been in use for the past 18 months and surveys of patients and nurses are overwhelmingly positive,” said Clements. “Many more clinic in Calgary are now ordering these chairs.”

Clements’ mother visited the Vernon clinic during her visits to the Okanagan and greatly appreciated the quality of care she received from the nurses.

“We certainly appreciate everything you’re doing,” said Jennifer Ross, patient care coordinator at the Vernon clinic to both Nerling and Clements.

Added Reed of his longtime community supporting mom: “I’m proud of her for again helping the community.”

Clements’ $6,000 donation was received by Chandel Schmidt, annual programs officer for the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation. KGH manages renal programs.

Also, we’ve simplified the online donation process and now when donating online, there’s an option under Fund Designation for “Kidney – Dialysis Clinic Vernon” (go to home page, click on Donate Now, click on General – Donate Now, scroll down to Fund Designation, select ‘Kidney – Dialysus Clinic Vernon’ from dropdown menu).

which manages all renal programs for the region.

“The new chairs will certainly let patients and staff be more comfortable,” said Schmidt. “We are excited to support this campaign.”

If you’d like to make a donation to Nerling’s campaign, you can do so at kghfoundation.com, where there’s an option under Fund Designation for “Kidney – Dialysis Clinic Vernon” or you can leave a cheque at, or mail it to, the Vernon clinic, which is located at #700-3115-48th Avenue, Vernon, V1T 3R5.

More than two million Canadians have some form of kidney disease, and nearly 20,000 receive long-term hemodialysis. That involves going to a dialysis centre three days a week for aprroximately three hours each visit.

The patient sits in a special chair during the procedure which cleans their blood of toxins, the job a healthy functioning kidney performs.

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