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Cherryville mom delivers importance of hospital care ahead of radiothon

20th anniversary Have A Heart event goes May 11 on Pure Country
Vernon’s Pure Country radio will host its milestone 20th anniversary Have A Heart Radiothon fundraiser for the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation Thursday, May 11, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Village Green Centre. (Contributed)

The journey to parenthood can be filled with anxiety. Especially the first time.

Just ask Serena Silchenko.

After years of trying, Silchenko and her husband Talon were thrilled with the news they were going to be parents. At 38, it was also a scary time as they knew there were risks of complications.

Thanks to the pre-natal care they received at Vernon Jubilee Hospital (VJH), including a tour of the ward, the Cherryville couple learned that the labour and delivery spaces had the equipment and staff they needed to feel safe, comfortable and supported.

North Okanagan residents can ensure all new parents have the same access to this life-saving equipment by donating to the annual Have a Heart Radiothon set to air Thursday, May 11, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, this special broadcast is a partnership between the VJH Foundation and local radio station PURE Country 105.7 FM. Since its inception, Radiothon has raised more than $1 million.

Foundation executive director Kate McBrearty says the goal this year is to purchase one fetal health surveillance monitor and base, and one infant care Panda Warmer for VJH’s Women’s and Children’s Health Services – “specialized machines that provided the very best care to Serena and baby Isabelle on Jan. 31.”

“This equipment enables nurses to have constant information about how mom and baby are doing and if there are complications, they have everything at their fingertips,” said McBrearty.

With two weeks to go in her pregnancy, everything changed for Silchenko. She was at home when her water broke. Talon scrambled to get her ready for the drive to VJH.

“I knew I couldn’t relax until I was surrounded by the support and safety of the VJH team,” Silchenko says while cuddling with now three-month-old Isabelle.

Silchenko’s anxious journey is why she’s sharing her story about how important specialized equipment is for new moms and babies.

“When I held Isabelle for the first time, I felt the joy only a first-time parent can experience,” she says. “So much could have gone wrong, but we were fortunate to have access to excellent healthcare.”

PURE Country radio host Turner Gentry is excited to share Silchenko’s story on air and to hear from hospital staff about how this equipment allows parents to stay connected to their babies.

“I’m looking forward to connecting with our listeners on-air and in person May 11 at the Village Green Shopping Centre to raise funds for Women’s and Children’s Health Services at VJH,” says Gentry.

Make a special delivery today by donating to Radiothon. To give in person, VJHF staff will be onsite from the PURE Country mobile studio, broadcasting from the Village Green Shopping Centre.

To donate online, visit, or call the foundation office at 250-558-1362.

READ MORE: Radiothon dials up dollars for Vernon hospital

READ MORE: North Okanagan Radiothoun raises $92K for critical hospital care

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