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Fundraiser planned for Vernon man battling ALS

Justin Ramsey of Okanagan Test Rite has organized a fundraiser event for John Mayne
Okanagan Test Rite has set up a fundraiser event in support of John Mayne, who was recently diagnosed with ALS. At the Dec. 3 event, people can pick up a reconditioned fire extinguisher or have their fire extinguishers recharged or certified. (GoFundMe photo)

A friend of a Vernon man diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has devised a unique fundraiser to help the man cover expensive medical bills.

John Mayne has gone from one serious illness to another. The Vernon man was diagnosed with colon cancer but overcame it and has been in remission for five years. However, he was recently given the devastating diagnosis of ALS. According to a GoFundMe campaign set up by his daughter, Chantel Mayne, his progression through the symptoms of ALS has been very fast.

Mayne is no longer able to walk and is 100 per cent reliant on his wheelchair, donated by the ALS Society, Chantel wrote in a Nov. 1 update. She added that he needs a feeding tube which will cost upwards of $1,400 a month.

“His speech has declined very fast and he now has an iPad that he can communicate through,” Chantel wrote. “He will still need (thousands) of dollars worth of equipment moving forward.”

Since it was created in July, the GoFundMe campaign has raised just $3,330 towards its goal of $10,000.

Looking to give John a financial boost is Justin Ramsey, a family friend who works for Okanagan Test Rite, which specializes in fire extinguishers and other fire suppression systems.

Ramsey is throwing a fundraiser event wherein Okanagan Test Rite will be offering reconditioned fire extinguishers, as well as fire extinguisher recharges, inspections or certifications, all by donation. All proceeds will go towards covering John’s medical expenses.

The one-day fundraiser event will be held Dec. 3 at the Max Voets Coffee Roasting parking lot in Vernon (2400 53rd Ave.) from 8 a.m. until dark.

“He’s such an awesome guy,” Ramsey said of John. “When you look at him he’s this tough biker kind of guy but he’s got just the nicest heart you could ever imagine. So just for him to be going through this, I feel like it always happens to the good people.”

Okanagan Test Rite inspects fire extinguishers for commercial and residential use, and Ramsey says fire extinguishers for commercial use need to be inspected every year.

“If you’ve got even a daycare, anything like that, you need to get us into your building to certify your fire extinguisher,” he said.

A new fire extinguisher costs about $85, Ramsey said, but he added there will be no set price at the fundraiser.

John has a long road ahead of him, and the hope is that the fundraiser will ease the financial burden on his ALS journey.

READ MORE: Community raises $3k in 24 hours to help Okanagan Jiu-Jitsu star get to California

READ MORE: Fundraiser started for family of Vernon doctor who drowned in Kamloops

Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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