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Barb and Gary Kachur

DIRECTOR AT LARGE

Barb and Gary became involved with TCF Saskatoon following the death of their son Ryan in 1999. Ryan was 16 years old when he died of a heart attack, due to an undetected heart defect. He was preparing for the upcoming high school football season. They have a surviving daughter, Andrea, a son-in-law, Jason, and two granddaughters, Ryin and River. They attended their first TCF Saskatoon Chapter meeting in August of 1999 and made phone calls and e-mail connections with TCF Winnipeg as well as with Andy Bond from TCF Ottawa Chapter. Barb had the honour of speaking with Pat Pinch of TCF Canada National, and she was very helpful.

Barb is a retired nurse, having specialized in Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing since 1979. After Ryan’s death, she achieved her BScN and furthered her career in the areas of forensic nursing, occupational health and safety nursing, and public health nursing. Barb developed an NICU classroom teaching model for nurses, and a Grief Resource Manual for the Public Health Department in Saskatoon. She has always volunteered, including in the areas of preschool education, the local community association, the German pavilion at Folk-fest, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Narrows Campground committee, and the Solar Project in Prince Albert National Park. This commitment has continued into involvement with the TCF Saskatoon Chapter, and with the Edwards Family Centre, for which she developed a Grief Resource Manual and a Perinatal Loss Support Booklet, which is distributed to all families who lose babies to miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal death.

Barb loves to spend time with their grandchildren, teaching them the German language and culture. she also loves walking their dogs, camping with their family, and travelling. In her spare time she enjoys creating lovely cards for friends and family. Barb is honored to be serving on the National Board of Directors of The Compassionate Friends of Canada, and to be working with such kind, honest and caring directors.

When Gary became involved with TCF Saskatoon in 1999 he started the local TCF web page and continues to maintain it today. Since 2001 he has produced the annual candle lighting program and was editor of the TCF Saskatoon newsletter for ten years.

In 1976 Gary made Medical Imaging his career.  He started in X-ray and CT scanning and then branched into ultrasound in 1983. Gary has supported his profession as student secretary for eight years, provincial president for three years, and as a national director for seven years until the death of their son. From 1994 until 2006 he was supervisor of the Ultrasound department at Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon at which time he semi-retired but has continued on in a part-time position.

The  board of  TCF Canada approached Gary to do the layout for our National newsletter and then again to act as a liaison for the National web page in preparation for our National TCF Gathering. Barb and Gary are delighted to be involved with the planning of the TCF Canada National Conference, Sharing Hope, to be held in Medicine Hat, AB, in August 2017.