My name is Catherine and I am a nurse at Bridgercare. Every day, I see how access to affordable reproductive healthcare is critical, especially for the most vulnerable in our rural, underserved communities. I am committed to making sure that healthcare in our community stays affordable and compassionate. Will you join me?

Recently, I was reminded why you are essential in changing lives for the better…

A month ago, I met a patient named Tara.* Tara had been to Bridgercare before for yearly check-ups and birth control refills. But this time was different. Tara, a healthy 31-year-old mother, checked in at the front desk and helped her 5-year-old daughter Lila* choose a coloring book from the toy box in the waiting room. When Tara began her appointment, our medical assistant Jen took care of Lila outside of the exam room to allow Tara to focus on her visit.

Tara had come in for a pregnancy test and was visibly anxious about the result. I ran a pregnancy test and told Tara that she was in fact pregnant. This was not the news Tara was hoping for. Teary-eyed, she voiced her fear of having a child with her abusive partner. She worried that he would have even more control over her now that she was pregnant. She was terrified that she and her children would never be able to leave now.

I couldn’t let Tara leave without doing everything I could to support her. I spent over an hour and a half with Tara, discussing options for the pregnancy and her family’s safety. I provided education on local resources. Together, we made calls and came up with a plan.  She told me that this was the first time in years where she felt like she had some control over her life and hope for her family’s future.

I haven’t seen Tara since that day.

Since Tara’s phone is monitored by her abuser, she asked us not to contact her. I don’t know if she is still living with her abuser or if she carried her pregnancy to term. I don’t know what the future holds for Tara and her children.

Our federal government has turned its back on people like Tara. They have cut funding to family planning clinics like Bridgercare, have created barriers to crucial services like mental health counselling, and have all but made it a crime to experience hardship. Our government has cast Tara aside. Now we are relying on people like you to make sure Tara always has access to the compassionate, high quality care she deserves. You respect her citizenship status, who she loves, or if she uses Bridgercare’s sliding fee scale. You know that Tara is a mother, a friend, a soul who makes our community vibrant.

And what I know is this: Because of you, Tara will always find safe, compassionate care at Bridgercare. You can make sure that Tara has access to care and resources for when she is ready to make a different life for herself and her children. You are needed to ensure that her youngest daughter, Lila, grows into a woman who knows that abuse isn’t okay and her future is hers to choose.

It is easy to overlook Tara in our bustling community of students, outdoor adventurers, young professionals, farmers, and business owners. Tara lives out of the spotlight, but you can change that. By making a donation that is meaningful to you today, you make sure that everyone in our community can step into the light.

In solidarity,

Catherine

*The names in this story were changed to protect patient privacy and safety.