CAY HILL: Patients receiving dialysis at St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) have one more comfort on their often difficult health journey thanks to a donation of a dialysis chair and connected table by Island Gems Charity Foundation.
The chair and table were delivered to SMMC during the height of the pandemic and were put immediately to use. Commenting on the usefulness of the donation from Island Gems, SMMC said: “It allowed us to replace existing furniture as we continue with our dialysis care and the expansion of our Dialysis Department.
“We are grateful to Island Gems for this and the numerous donations they have made to the hospital and by extension, the people of St. Maarten,” the Dutch side’s hospital stated.
SMMC’s Dialysis Department is where dialysis patients spend many hours per week for many years receiving treatment to help them live longer, healthier lives. Dialysis is a treatment that replaces some of the functions of the kidneys in patients whose kidneys can no longer perform these functions naturally. Once a patient experiences some form of kidney failure, they have to undergo dialysis treatment for the rest of their life or until they receive a successful kidney transplant.
Island Gems, the island’s oldest charity organization, has supported SMMC with various donations in the past. “The purchase of the chair and table was seen by Island Gems as a needed comfort to dialysis patients. The delivery of time of the items also occurred at a time when even more support was needed: the height of the pandemic when patients had to go to treatments alone,” Island Gems Charity Foundation President Alita Singh.
Island Gems, a non-profit foundation, funds projects like this one from monies raised at its annual costume gala dinner. All funds raised at the event are returned to the community in the form of support for equipment and services in the areas of health, education, arts, and social projects among others. Island Gems is the only organization that funds projects on both sides of the island.
The foundation was unable to host its gala, its only annual fundraising event, for the past two years due to the pandemic. The gala is back for 2022. The costume gala theme is “Circus Circus” and will be held on Saturday, April 2, 2022, at Emilio’s restaurant starting at 7:00pm.
All gala tickets purchased for the 2020 gala will be honoured by the foundation. Island Gems supporters who may have misplaced their tickets are urged to contact the Island Gems member from whom you made your purchase.