The maternity ward at the Campbell River Hospital has two brand new delivery room carts thanks to Cameryn’s Cause for Kids and the family of the late Justin Webb. From the left are Stacey Marsh of the Hospital Foundation

Campbell River couple ‘pays it forward’ after the loss of their son

After a horrendous nine-month battle with brain cancer, Justin Webb, just 20 years old, died suddenly

Art Webb and his wife Diane Zaschke spent a lot of time at the Campbell River Hospital in the weeks leading up to the death of their son Justin.

After a horrendous nine-month battle with brain cancer, Justin Webb, just 20 years old, died suddenly on Sept. 4, 2011, just after he had been released from hospital to recover at home.

His passing devastated the family. But rather than continue to mourn and grieve, Webb and Zaschke have chosen to celebrate Justin’s life and to give back to the community that was so giving to them during their time of need.

“It’s what Justin would have wanted,” says Zaschke, 56. “This was one tragic story. It was awful for us, but it happens. That’s what we learned: Tragic things happen every day and people need our help.”

Justin spent his days in hospital virtually paralyzed and confined to his bed on the third floor where his parents took daily shifts sitting by his side.

Now they’re back at the hospital, only this time they are seated at the table in the maternity lounge on the second floor. They’re here for the donation of two new delivery room carts to the maternity ward and they couldn’t be happier.

“These are going to get used all the time,” says Zaschke. “We’re thrilled good things are still being done in Justin’s name.”

At Justin’s Celebration of Life service, the family asked that in lieu of flowers, friends should donate to Cameryn’s Cause for Kids, a local charity which provides assistance to family’s with sick children.

More than $2,000 came in and the money was used to buy the two new hospital-grade delivery room carts which cost approximately $2,600.

“They look like furniture and that’s what we want in maternity, a family-like atmosphere,” says RN Debbie Arkwright, the clinical co-ordinator for the maternity unit.

Webb, 67, says his son’s death was life-changing for he and his wife. They were amazed by the support and generosity Justin received throughout his illness, and now they say it’s time to “pay it forward.”

It started at Christmas time when they donated hours and hours to the Angel Tree project. That, says Webb, helped them get through the Christmas season without their son.

They also donated their time to cook for a local soup kitchen, and have started their own small landscaping company, affectionately named “Just In Time.”

“We’re going to donate five per cent of our earnings to the cancer society. Granted, it won’t be a lot of money, but it’s a donation,” says Art.

In addition, they have formed a team for the annual Relay For Life fundraiser in June.

The team is called “Justin’s Journey” and they’re looking for team members to help raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society.

“It’s about the spirit of the community and the spirit of Justin,” says Zaschke. “(Art) and I don’t need anything. The one thing we need, we can’t get…the community helped Justin so much when he was ill, we can never thank them enough. We’re just trying to pay it forward.”

 

To learn more, visit the Facebook page “Justin Webb in Loving Memory.”