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Cops For Kids benefits Vernon babies

Cheque for $5,700 to purchase new piece of equipment for women and children services at VJH
Vernon North Okanagan RCMP Const. Nick Reimann (right) and dispatcher Kathryn Ahvenus (second from right) present $5,700 toVernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation associate director, philanthropic, Cassandra Schwarz (left) and Amy Novakowski, patient care coordinator, VJH Women’s and Children’s Health Services. The money comes from the annual Cops For Kids cycling trek to help purchase new equipment. (Cops For Kids photo)

The youngest of hearts are benefitting from the pedal power of police.

Fundraising efforts from the Cops for Kids Ride were delivered to Vernon Jubilee Hospital Tuesday, Oct. 25, to gift the neoBLUE Phototherapy System to the women and children’s services department.

This essential piece of equipment will provide phototherapy to cure jaundice in babies born at the hospital before they’re able to safely go home. If untreated, jaundice can lead to cerebral palsy, hearing loss, vision loss and intellectual disabilities.

As many as three in five babies are diagnosed with jaundice, and the local hospital treats as many as three cases each week. Since the old phototherapy system has reached the end of its life, local babies are forced to transfer to another hospital to receive treatment.

Cops for Kids director and BC Highway Patrol Const. Nick Reimann of the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP was on hand to deliver the equipment to hospital staff with a smile.

“We know the financial struggle that families face in an already stressful time when they need to travel to medical care outside of their home community, so we’re thrilled that this piece of equipment will allow parents to have their babies treated right here in Vernon,” said Reimann. “Knowing that so many families will benefit from this technology is why we work so hard each year on our fundraising.”

Hospital staff are quickly putting the new equipment to work as it can be used anywhere on the unit, even when parents are holding their baby.

“We’re so grateful to Cops for Kids for their generous donation for the health of infants in our community,” said Kate McBrearty, executive director of the VJH Foundation. “It will give parents piece of mind and enable mom and baby to go home faster. Staff on the unit are excited about this new addition; and we’re so thankful for Cops for Kids’ commitment to excellence in healthcare for our region.”

Cops for Kids is a group of dedicated RCMP members and friends, committed to assisting children in medical, physical, or traumatic crisis across southeastern B.C. The annual Cops for Kids ride takes place each September, where a team of 30 cyclists pedal more than 1,000 kilometres over 10 days across the region to raise funds and awareness for the children who need it most.

READ MORE: Families welcome cops cycling for kids at Vernon detachment

READ MORE: Four North Okanagan cops ride for kids

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