Orangeville Lions Club honours two dialysis nurses with prestigious award

July 22, 2021   ·   0 Comments

By Paula Brown

The Orangeville Lion’s Club has honoured two Headwaters Health Care Centre (HHCC) dialysis nurses with the prestigious Melvin Jones Fellowship Award.

Lion Wade Neal presented nurses Tania Alexander and Kelly Jenkins-Young with the award during a small ceremony outside of the local hospital last Friday (July 16).

According to a press release, both nurses were recognized for their work providing care to patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, one of which patients was Lion Wade Neal.

Neal, a Constable with Peel Regional Police, became a dialysis patient at Headwaters hospital in 2018 after years of living with Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD), a genetic disorder. Over two years, Neal would receive dialysis treatments three times a week at the local hospital before becoming a recipient of an anonymous living donor kidney in November of 2020.

“A lot of the time that I spent in dialysis was trying to think of a way that I could express my gratitude for the treatment that I received,” said Neal. “I’ve had 240 days since my last dialysis treatment and I realized over that time that I thought I was special, that the treatment that I received was mine and mine alone. That time I processed, I realized that every single patient received exceptional care and it wasn’t just me, and that’s why we’re here today.”

The Melvin Jones Fellowship Award, named after the founder of Lions Clubs International, recognizes outstanding individuals who have provided selfless services to others, and embody humanitarian efforts.

“We’re very honoured by receiving this award,” said Kelly Jenkins-Young, award recipient. “We try to create an exceptional experience every day for these patients. Over the course of time, they spend three days a week with us, usually between three and four hours and we try to make that time as enjoyable as possible.”

Lion Chief Mike Walker also presented Kim Delahunt, president and CEO of Headwaters, with a plaque on behalf of the Orangeville Lions to recognized frontline and essential workers for their sacrifices and commitment to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is really nice and so appreciated to receive this recognition this morning, especially for our nurses. I’m honoured to accept the award on behalf of the hospital, staff, and physicians whose work during the pandemic has been nothing short of inspiring,” said Delahunt. “Today, we also celebrate our dialysis program nursing team as well as Dr. Ben Wong, our nephrologist. We are incredibly proud of the work they do to care for our dialysis patients each and every day, their families, and the support they provide to all of them.”

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