Benefit supper planned for Ducharmes

A spaghetti supper fundraiser for Mary and Jack Ducharme is slated for next Wednesday (Aug. 24) from 5-8 p.m. at the St. Mary’s Church basement.
Organizers are hoping family and friends will come out in support of the couple, who’ve needed help covering expenses since Mary underwent a heart transplant July 3 at the Ottawa Heart Institute.
“She’s doing very well. She’s quite amazing. She’s a tough girl,” said Jack Ducharme’s sister, Micaela Jensen, who’s organizing the fundraiser along with several other of the Ducharmes’ siblings.
“She’s been out of the hospital for a couple weeks, and is expected to come home on Sept. 9 or 10,” Jensen noted. “But after that, they’ll have to go back and forth every three weeks for the rest year.”
Jensen noted although people have been generous making donations to the “Community Chest” to help cover medical expenses over the past month, the couple will need yet more financial assistance for the months ahead—hence the fundraiser dinner next Wednesday.
Tickets cost $20, which are available in advance at North American Lumber and at the door. All proceeds will go to the Ducharmes.
There also will be a penny auction at the supper to raise more funds.
Jensen noted people also can help the Ducharmes through the local “Community Chest” by donating money at the front desk at the Civic Centre.
If, for whatever reason, individuals wish to bypass this means and give directly to the Ducharmes, they may make donations directly to TD Canada Trust by requesting to deposit funds directly to Jack Ducharme’s account there.
Mary Ducharme was diagnosed earlier this spring with serious heart problems.
After being admitted to Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre with chest pain, she was transferred to Ottawa, where it was determined she needed a heart transplant.
After returning to Fort Frances to wait for a heart to become available, Ducharme carried a sort of “pager” for the hospital to contact her. That happened in the early hours of Sunday, July 3 when the call came in that they had a heart for her.
An air ambulance was dispatched and the Ducharmes were on their way to Ottawa around 6:30 a.m.
She was taken to surgery about 2 p.m. that day, where at that time the doctors determined the donor heart was a suitable match.
By 10 p.m., family in Fort Frances learned that Mary Ducharme was out of surgery and that her new heart was pumping on its own.
Since then, she has been recovering in Ottawa. But as noted, she is expected to be required to make frequent trips back and forth for the rest of the year so doctors can monitor her recovery.

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