Centenary Hospital Health Fair sheds light on diverse health issues

A prick of your finger could save your life.

The Canadian Blood Services showed how at the fourth annual Rouge
Valley Centenary Health Fair at Rouge Valley Hospital on April 2.
The blood service was one of a dozen booths staffed by volunteers to
inform the public on healthcare issues.

At the blood-typing booth, they pricked each visitor’s finger, dropped
three drops into various chemicals and within a minute could tell
blood type and Rh factor — what determines whether the blood is
positive or negative. This information could save your life if you
need an emergency transfusion.

Other booths presented private homecare services. These caregivers
provide in-home assistance to patients. They provide help for pre- and
post-natal care, palliative care and meal planning.

Raising awareness

April being Cancer Awareness Month, several booths were devoted to the
subject. One booth’s volunteer, registered nurse Lisa Owens, works in
the Chemotherapy Clinic at Centenary.

Her booth had pamphlets about each kind of cancer and a model breast
with four lumps in it. The model was used to give an example of what
tumours feel like. The earlier cancer is found, the easier it is to
treat before it has a chance to spread.

“That’s why this fair is about awareness, prevention and promoting
health, telling people how to stay healthy so they don’t end up in
hospital,” Owens said.

The Look Good Feel Better booth was devoted to another aspect of
cancer. It is a charity program that helps women with cancer
rediscover their beauty. They offer a free workshop where beauty
experts teach the women makeup tricks to hide the effects of
chemotherapy. Courtesy of the Canadian Cosmetic,
There was also a reading of Like Fish Out of Water: Men Being Helpful
to Women with Cancer, written by Dr. Ross Gray and Dr. Karen Fergus
based on their research and interviews with real men whose wives have

The script’s development was sponsored by the Canadian Cancer Society
and was read by Patrick Black, Janet Canavan and Paul Soren. It aims
to bring awareness to the struggles these men face and gives tips on
how they can support their wives.