Joan Page

Joan photo (Web).jpgFor Joan Page donating to CNIB is about keeping the memory of her late husband, Donald, alive.

"CNIB gave my husband hope when he became blind," said the 78-year-old Saskatoon resident. 

For over 17 years, Page has donated generously to CNIB both financially and of her time as a volunteer for fundraising events. She continues to give because she has witnessed how CNIB helped her husband year's before.

"Herb Essenburg, a CNIB staff member and a person who was blind came out and impressed my husband with what he could do. He played the piano and cross country skied," she said. "He also introduced talking books to Donald."

Page's husband Donald lost his sight due to diabetic retinopathy when he was 37 years old. At the time the couple lived in Mullingar which is 20 miles south of Spiritwood in Saskatchewan. Joan was a school teacher in Mayfair and her husband owned a service station and four school buses.

Despite losing his sight, he to learn how to play the drums, continued to water ski and fish. Donald also continued to work at his business until further complications from diabetes stopped him in 1985 when his kidney's failed.

In 1993 the couple moved to Saskatoon. In 2003, he passed away.

Since his death, Page found a way to leave a legacy through her donations to CNIB and volunteer efforts with CNIB fundraising dinners. Every year and monthly she gives a donation. Every year she finds a way to volunteer her time at a fundraiser, whether it be selling tickets or gathering art for an auction.

"I see that there are so many people that need CNIB's help. And I got involved and just couldn't stop."

Her newest volunteer endeavor involves her love of art. For over 13 years, Page has painted water colour and acrylic landscapes. She has also travelled to Spain, Portugal and Newfoundland to paint with art groups. She thought, why not teach art to people who are blind or partially sighted? Starting in January she will teach an art class at CNIB. For more information about this art class call (306) 374-4545.
 
Ongoing she will continue her philanthropy, and she encourages others to consider a donation to CNIB.
"It is so important to give because you never know if losing your sight could happen to you."