Victoria's Alex Reid, an active Mason for more than 20 years, has helped raise enough money recently to bring hope to premature babies in B.C.
Reid, 71, along with Eileen Palmieri of Golden, both recent joint leaders of the fraternal organization for men and women called the Eastern Star, helped B.C. Children's Hospital purchase muchneeded equipment.
Efforts by Reid and Palmieri this year and last raised nearly $50,000 to purchase three machines for the neonatal unit at the hospital: a special pump to administer fluids and medication to the tiny patients, an analyzer to check on their lungs, and a device to allow doctors to look at brains and spines.
Reid said he and Palmieri toured the hospital at the start of their fundraising effort and were especially moved by the sight of prematurely born infant patients.
"That was quite something," he said in an interview. "One of the babies was small enough that you could hold it in the palm of your hand."
Reid also noted Palmieri told him her own granddaughter, while not especially tiny, still needed some assistance in the neonatal unit at B.C. Children's.
"And now she has grown up and she takes ballet lessons and she is really a healthy child now," he said.
Reid said he and Palmieri visited all chapters of the Eastern Star in B.C. and the Yukon to speak about the need for the machines in the neonatal unit. When they spoke, it was a common occurrence to have a member stand up and say they had a family member who had passed through the unit, Reid said.
"It just added to the whole thing."
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