Big hon­our for Car­bon­ear vol­un­teer

Crohn’s and Coli­tis Canada rec­og­nizes Betty Prid­dle with award

The Compass - - EDITORIAL - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON ECO­NOMIC DE­VEL­OP­MENT CB­N­com­pass.ca

Car­bon­ear’s Betty Prid­dle didn’t know a thing about Crohn’s dis­ease when her son was di­ag­nosed in the late 1980s.

“We had never heard of Crohn’s,” she told The Com­pass last week. “We knew noth­ing about it, but it didn’t take us long to find out what that meant.”

Prid­dle was re­cently in Toronto, where she re­ceived Crohn’s and Coli­tis Canada’s Finkel­stein Award. It rec­og­nizes those who have made sub­stan­tial con­tri­bu­tions to the or­ga­ni­za­tion over time.

“You don’t win an award like this by your­self. I did say that at my ac­cep­tance speech. If you don’t have vol­un­teers who are ded­i­cated and if you don’t have com­mu­nity sup­port — a lot of busi­nesses are good to us either for items at the walk we raf­fle off or for cash do­na­tions. You can’t win it on your own.”

Crohn’s dis­ease and coli­tis im­pacts a per­son’s abil­ity to di­gest food. They may, as a re­sult, have trou­ble prop­erly ab­sorb­ing nu­tri­ents from food and elim­i­nat­ing waste. Symp­toms may in­clude ab­dom­i­nal pain, cramp­ing, gas, bloat­ing, fa­tigue, di­ar­rhea and loss of ap­petite.

Ac­cord­ing to Crohn’s and Coli­tis Canada, one in 150 Cana­di­ans is liv­ing with either ill­ness, and the num­ber of new cases of Crohn’s dis­ease among Cana­dian chil­dren has al­most dou­bled since 1985.

In 1993, Prid­dle saw a no­tice look­ing for peo­ple in­ter­ested in start­ing lo­cal chap­ters of the na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tion.

De­cid­ing she was game to give it a try, the school teacher helped cre­ate the Trin­ity Con­cep­tion chap­ter.

Over the last 22 years, events or­ga­nized by that chap­ter have raised over $400,000. Prid­dle has served as the chap­ter sec­re­tary­trea­surer from the start.

Lo­cally, the group has sold Christ­mas cakes and choco­lates and or­ga­nized Valen­tine’s Day din­ners and dances.

Th­ese days, the two main fundrais­ers are the na­tional walk in June — called the Gutsy Walk — and a fall raf­fle.

The walks take place in Bay Roberts and Dildo, and tick­ets for the raf­fle are now on sale.

The lo­cal chap­ter pe­ri­od­i­cally sets up a booth in the TC Square Mall, with the ticket draw sched­uled to hap­pen Dec. 16.

“Peo­ple over the years have opened up to me,” Prid­dle said with re­spect to sell­ing tick­ets in the mall.

“They just stop and say, ‘I’ve got that too, so I’ll buy a ticket.’ Ev­ery year they see me there and I get to know their faces, so af­ter a while they open up a bit more. One lit­tle girl even calls me the Crohn’s woman.”

editor@

AN­DREW ROBIN­SON/THE COM­PASS

Get the lat­est up­dates to this story at http://www.crohns and­col­i­tis.ca Betty Prid­dle of Car­bon­ear re­ceived the Finkel­stein Award last month in Toronto. It rec­og­nizes her 20-plus years of ded­i­cated ser­vice as a vol­un­teer to Crohn’s and Coli­tis Canada.

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