Accident Revealed Caring Side

Published Tuesday, July 12, 2005

In 1992 Peter Brockbank had an accident at work which left him an incomplete paraplegic. He will be forever thankful for the support and help of his mum and dad, among others, who gave of themselves selflessly to help his family through the transition period. Peter learned the value of helping one another through this experience and has since helped many members of our community through their own difficulties.

While in GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre, Peter’s roommate was unable to go home due to accessibility problems. When Peter learned that the young man next to him, who was a paraplegic, was unable to go home because his widowed mum was not able to afford a ramp, Peter became frustrated at the lack of financial assistance and decided that he would do something about it.

For the past ten years Peter has done something about it as a member of the Maple Ridge Lions Club. Working with fellow Lions and community volunteers he has helped to renovate homes for those in need. He widens doors, makes ramps, creates accessible washrooms, patios, and living spaces needed by people with mobility problems.

It is a frustrating experience to be in a wheelchair and trapped by the inaccessibility of your own home. Peter and his group of volunteers help to make people more comfortable and independent in their homes by giving them the freedom of accessibility.

In addition to redoing inaccessible living spaces, the Lions have a locker of medical equipment and mobility aids which are lent out to people in need. Mobility aids create a vital link to living an independent life when one has a mobility problem and a limited income.

Peter is constantly amazed by the people who are willing to volunteer their time and skills. He thanks the patrons at the Maple Ridge Hotel’s Friday and Saturday night meat draws who have often signed on to volunteer themselves when apprised of projects.

His family continues to be a source of support and help in his life and with the projects he takes on. His wife Marlene helps with the paperwork and organization, while three of his children, Lindsay, Trevor, and Jason, and their friends, help to transport the various medical equipment to the homes of those who need it. “They are probably faster at putting together hospital beds than anyone else in town” he jokes.

While he was recognized by the Governor General as a Caring Canadian in 2002 Peter says that “the smiles I get from those receiving the equipment are what make everything worthwhile”.

The Lions Club collects hearing aids, eyeglasses, cell phones, medical equipment, hospital beds, and mobility aids. Any items not used within our community become part of “CARE” projects such as their recent project of sending containers filled with needed equipment to Honduras.

They also collect aluminum tabs which are resold with proceeds going to the Lions Foundation of Canada to provide special skills dogs at no cost to the recipient. Pennies are collected to provide assistance to the Lions Easter Seal House in Vancouver.

They would appreciate your help in any way you can offer it, through donations of equipment, time, skill, or money. The Lions Club says “Alone – we can do very little, as a community we can make miracles happen”. Please be part of these miracles.

The Book Case at 22367 – 119th Street and The Meat Market at 11920 – 227th Street are drop off places for all but the used medical equipment. To donate medical equipment please call Peter at (604) 465-6625.