Learning how to walk again, for the third time, won’t slow down Armstrong’s Chelaine McInroy.
In fact, the 28-year-old plans to be at a benefit dance in her honour later this month.
Friends and family are rallying around McInroy, looking to raise close to $100,000 to help her purchase a new prosthetic leg with a fundraising dance, raffle and silent auction called Life, Limb and Lyrics.
The event, featuring a number of country music acts donating their time and talent, will be held Saturday, June 25, at the Hassen Memorial Arena in Armstrong starting at 5 p.m.
A horse enthusiast, actress, singer-songwriter, model, rodeo competitor, softball player and former ski champion, McInroy’s life forever changed in 2016 when she was diagnosed with osteomyelitis, an infection in the bone, and sepsis, a life-threatening blood infection. If untreated, it can cause multiple organ failure and death.
“It became a choice of life or limb, so Chelaine underwent a below-the-knee amputation on her left leg to hopefully stop the infection,” said McInroy family friend Steve Smith, who is helping to organize the benefit dance.
McInroy had the surgery, and she then required costly prosthetics and therapy. Her home community rallied and raised enough money to purchase an athletic-style prosthetic for her.
She spent the next six years battling recurring infections and underwent numerous surgeries. In March of this year, McInroy found out the infection awoke from a dormant stage, putting her again in a life-or-limb situation. She had the rest of her tibia/fibula, entire knee joint, and part of her femur amputated on March 23, and has been recovering at the GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre in Vancouver.
McInroy now requires adaptations to her home – a wheelchair ramp and modified bathroom – as well as brand new prosthetics to accommodate her new level of amputation. This will allow her to recover and eventually return to the active life she loves to live.
“She will be able to walk, run, dance, and ride again, now without a knee,” said Smith. “She is determined to make it through this and come out stronger than before.”
The prosthetics required has a microprocessor knee, is waterproof/dirtproof, and is capable of running and moving on uneven terrain – unlike most prosthetic options. The cost is $82,000.
The Life, Limb and Lyrics fundraiser hopes to help.
Acts confirmed so far include the Dirt Road Kings, Saskatchewan’s Justin Labrash, Three Scotch In, Tanner Dawson and Karissa Hoffart.
Tickets are $50 and available in advance at Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce, Tea Essentials, Terra Vida Wellness and Cowboy’s Choice in and the Armstrong Regional Co-op Liquor Store.
A limited amount of raffle tickets will be sold. First prize is a two-night stay and four all-day passes at Revelstoke Mountain Resort; second prize is accommodation and two ski passes to SilverStar Mountain Resort; and third prize is a stay at a chalet at Halcyon Hotsprings Resort near Nakusp.
“We are looking for volunteers to help put on this successful event, donations for the silent auction and raffle items, business, and personal sponsorships at various levels; and engaged community partners to help celebrate this remarkable woman on her path to recovery,” said Smith.
All donations are put in trust at Valley First Credit Union, Armstrong. E-transfers can be made to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can check out the event’s website lifelimbandlyrics.com for more information.