Saanich girl gives gift of silence

Jillian McCue donates silent wall clocks to Victoria Hospice

Jillian McCue holds one of the 12 silent wall clocks she donated to Victoria Hospice with Christine Gaw

Life for the families and patients of Victoria Hospice is challenging to say the least. Time slows, and the tick of a clock can be enough to keep people up all night.

Hearing that struck a chord with 11-year-old Jillian McCue of Saanich.

The girl who recently spurred Saanich council to consider residential backyard goats (a pilot program is in the works) campaigned for the better part of the summer, and last week delivered a dozen new silent wall clocks to Hospice.

“When she arrived at the Victoria Hospice reception desk she was greeted with smiles and hugs by the nurses and staff,” said dad Rich McCue.

“[I’m] hopeful that patients and families will be able to rest more easily now that the ticking clocks are a thing of the past,” Jillian said.

Jillian’s quest actually started at the beginning of the summer, said Rich, when she participated in the World Cup Soccer Camp’s Anneswer To Cancer soccer tournament. The event raises money and awareness for Victoria Hospice, and Jillian canvassed her neighbourhood with a goal of raising $1,000, or more.

As a top fundraiser she was entered into a contest and won a $500 Best Buy gift card prize. Her goal was to spend half the prize money on a video camera but also asked her mom Heather, a nurse who works in the Victoria Hospice unit, what she could spend the other half of the money on.

Heather mentioned Hospice was in need of silent clocks as the ticking noises caused patient and family distress as they tried sleep.

Jillian selected a silent clock from Best Buy’s website but could only afford six of the 12 clocks needed to replace them all.

So, Jillian walked into the Uptown Best Buy (with her dad) and asked to speak to a manager. She explained the situation and wondered if Best Buy would like to donate the remaining six.

It took a couple minutes, and they said yes, Rich said.

Jillian was too excited when the clocks were finally delivered to let them sit in her house. She encouraged her parents to drive her immediately to Royal Jubilee Hospital so she could deliver them.

“I want to express my gratitude to Best Buy for their support and generosity,” Jillian said.

“She sought, in a small and simple way, to improve one aspect of the stress that comes when facing life-limiting illness,” said Rich.



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