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Lumby Barn Dance to benefit double amputee

Katherine Wilson, a single mother, lost both of her legs to infections over the past several years
Lumby resident Katherine Wilson will be the recipient of proceeds from this year’s Lumby Barn Dance. Wilson is a double amputee and single mother who lost both of her legs to infections. The Barn Dance takes place Saturday, April 22, at the Pat Duke Arena. (Contributed)

The Lumby Barn Dance is back, and it’s in support of another local resident in need.

The Barn Dance, family dance and artisan market takes place Saturday, April 22, at the Pat Duke Arena in Lumby.

The artisan market will be put on from noon to 4 p.m., the all ages family dance (by donation) will run from 3 to 4:30 p.m. and the Barn Dance — sponsored by Bear Paw Earthworks and Woolley & Company Barrister & Solicitors — is on from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. The Barn Dance is a 19+ event. There will be line dancing from 8 to 9 p.m. and three live bands and a DJ from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Tickets for the Barn Dance are $50 cash only at Antler’s Cold Beer in Lumby, as well as Woolley & Company’s Vernon and Lumby locations.

Silent auction proceeds and funds from the all ages family dance will be given to Katherine Wilson, who is recovering from a second leg amputation.

With the live bands from the Okanagan plus a DJ, organizer Angie Clowry says the event will be bigger and better, and she hopes it will be a sell out.

On Wednesday the Lumby Barn Dance also announced a headlining act that turns the dance into a concert. The headliner is Penticton’s Hillside Outlaws, who are ready to blow the roof off the Pat Duke Arena. Their song Beer is Essential is a digital success garnering hundreds of thousands of streams across all platforms. Their summer song, Something Bout Summer, hit the radio waves and made an impression across the country. Their live show will be packed with high-octane energy that will have everyone on their feet.

Clowry says she is pumped to have an all Okanagan lineup that will make for one heck of a dance floor party.

The artisan market is new this year and features Bubble Wonders with Geoff Atkins to entertain the kids, as well as Estry the magician, who will be making balloon animals for kids. Christine Turpin will be on hand doing face painting.

Clowry says each year her goal is to make a gathering where families can make memories.

This year, the live music includes all Okanagan artists: The Young’Uns & Lost N Found Band, as well as DJ’d music with Andy Bowie from Bowie’s Entertainment.

The funds raised are going to a person very much in need of a break.

Wilson is a single mom with two kids. She lost her right leg several years ago due to a severe infection in her foot. Although losing her limb spelled an enormous life change, she took it with grace, working hard to learn how to walk with a prosthetic and adjust to the new difficulties of everyday tasks. She never accepted any help during this time.

At the beginning of August, Wilson’s mom fell and broke her hip. Wilson rushed her mom to the hospital and made daily trips to Vernon to care for her as well as her children at home.

Then on Aug. 20, 2022, Wilson was hospitalized herself. A rapidly spreading infection in her good leg resulted in an amputation of the leg a month later. With her children being left to stay with relatives, Wilson was completely immobile and stuck in a hospital bed as a double amputee. The wound took a long time to heal; every time Wilson tried to put weight on the incision it would break open, which would set her back another month until she could try again.

Christmas without the comforts of home was the hardest part of the experience for Wilson and her children.

Wilson was finally able to return home after seven long months.

While she was still in the hospital, funds were raised to purchase and install two stair lifts in her home, which was unsuitable for a person in a wheelchair. Grab bars also had to be installed in hallways and the bathroom for both Wilson and her mom.

Funds raised from the Barn Dance could help make Wilson’s home more wheelchair accessible. The funds will also be used for wheelchair taxi rides to get Wilson to physiotherapy in Vernon three times a week.

Lastly, Wilson needs to have her vehicle modified so she can drive using hand controls.

Funds have been secured for that modification, but more funds are needed to cover expensive lessons for hand driven vehicles.

Last year’s Barn Dance was in support of Lumby resident Cole Derry, who was in need of a second kidney transplant. Derry has since received the transplant and has been recovering at home.

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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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