Library workers rally to support daughter of union leader who has lymphoma



By Ron Giofu


Members of CUPE 2974.0 – otherwise known as the “library warriors” – rallied behind Lori Wightman during the eight-month strike.

Now, they are rallying behind her daughter.

Wightman, who works at the Amherstburg library branch and is the unit chair for CUPE 2974.0, along with her family are supporting her daughter Kati as Kati battles Hodgkins Lymphoma. Lori’s co-workers attended three blood drives in Windsor last week in support of Kati, with Lori stating the union also plans on sponsoring similar drives in Amherstburg later this year.

“She was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma March 9,” said Lori. “It has a good cure rate. It’s about 80 per cent, which is good unless it’s your kid.”

Kati’s first round of chemotherapy resulted in an infection and a hospital stay, but she is now on her fourth round of chemotherapy and things are improving.

Library workers have been rallying to support Lori WIghtman's daughter Kati, who has hodkin's lymphoma. Wightman is unit chair of CUPE 2974 and works at the Amherstburg library.

Library workers have been rallying to support Lori WIghtman’s daughter Kati, who has hodkin’s lymphoma. Wightman is unit chair of CUPE 2974 and works at the Amherstburg library.

“She’s tolerating it better,” said Lori. “We’re pretty optimistic.”

Kati undergoes chemotherapy for one week per month with weekly blood tests also required. If need be, she also has to have blood transfusions. Thus far, she has had ten transfusions.

“My CUPE co-workers have put together blood drives in Kati’s name for the last two weeks,” Lori said.

Lori said 60 per cent of Canadians are eligible to give blood but only four per cent do. She said it is something you don’t think about until it is necessary but added it is important that blood is ready for when it is needed.

“It sounds cliché, but it’s life saving,” said Wightman.

Kati, 21, works at the Amherstburg Walmart but Lori said she has been off on medical leave due to her illness.

“She is looking forward to going back,” she said.

The family is dealing with the illness well, Lori said, using a sense of humour to try and get through the difficult period.

“We just prop each other up when someone needs it,” she said.

Blood donor clinics are planned for July 8 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m., Aug. 16 from 2-7 p.m. and Sept. 9 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at the Libro Centre. Lori points out it takes less than an hour most times to donate blood.

“Where else can you save a life and have cookies?” she quipped.

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