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Military spouse raising funds to assist with much-needed surgeries in Africa

Military spouse and nurse, Kelly Snook is preparing for an opportunity of a lifetime. 

In November, she will be travelling to Senegal on the African Mercy Ship for two weeks to help assist with much-needed surgeries.

As a mother of three, Snook says she didn’t start thinking about a career in nursing until after she had her three kids, while her husband, a combat engineer was deployed to Bosnia. 

“I got into nursing because I thought that I had been through labour enough times that I could surely help other women going through the same thing,” says Snook. “So, I started my career in Labour and Delivery when we moved to Gagetown in July 2004.”

Later, when her husband was deployed to Afghanistan, she trained to become an operating room nurse to be able to have better hours to take care of her kids. 

Volunteering on the Mercy Ship is a new opportunity for Snook. After the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, nurses from the operation room where she worked travelled on volunteer missions help there.

“At the time, I was in awe of their selfless act, going to such a devastated area and providing services to the people. I decided then that at some point  in my career I would like to go on a volunteer mission to provide the medical care that the local people could not receive otherwise.”

In November she will spend two weeks on the Mercy Ship. While on the ship she will working as an Operating room nurse, either scrubbing in to help the surgeons or circulating and bringing patients to the OR for their surgeries and help the anesthesiologist.

To help offset the cost of the trip, Snook has started fundraising. Her oldest daughter volunteered to make scrunchies to sell, as well as her mother, who has handmade baby receiving blankets, bibs and burp pads. 

“With these items, my daughter created an event page with all of the items listed, and we have been selling them ever since.”

Any funds raised above the amount needed for her trip will be donated directly to the Mercy Ship. 

“The number of people who volunteer their time and expertise to this amazing institution is phenomenal,” said Snook. “I know that I will return with a new perspective on life and the many resources that we have here in a first world country, and gratitude, for the lessons that I will learn during my time on the Mercy Ship.”

Visit Snook’s Facebook page to follow her journey, purchase items or to donate money. To donate directly, visit Kelly’s Go-fund-me page.

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Paige LeClair

As a recent graduate from the St. Thomas University Journalism program, Paige has a passion for storytelling and investigative journalism. In 2016, she, along with her journalism team were awarded first place at the Emerge Media Awards in the multimedia category. The team was also a finalist at the Canadian Association of Journalist Awards. She is excited to work with other military spouses providing stories and information to the military community. Paige is newly married to Andrew, a Lineman, and moved to their first posting in Petawawa in May of this year. She is excited to begin this journey with Andrew, their dog Diablo, and cat, Linux

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