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Meet the Winnipeg woman raising funds for Palliative Manitoba

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Staying active is an important part of Barbara Main’s life.

“I’m not walking quite as quickly as I used to, but I’m still walking and really enjoying it,” Main told CTV News Winnipeg.

The 91-year-old also enjoys giving back and helping others.

“It’s a community,” she explained. “It’s a social thing and something I really enjoy.”

Each spring, Main hits the pavement raising money for Palliative Manitoba through the organization’s Hike for Hospice.

The nationwide fundraiser tasks people to hike, walk or roll between May 20 to 26. The annual event culminates in a special walk starting at Blue Cross Park on May 26.

Main first participated in the Hike for Hospice 20 years ago and after learning more about Palliative Manitoba, decided it was a cause she wanted to get involved with.

Each spring, Main collects donations from former colleagues, neighbours, and other community members. She also puts together presentations about Palliative Manitoba for potential donors.

“Over the years, it’s added up – unbelievably well over $100,000,” Main exclaimed.

Palliative Manitoba provides supportive services to people living with life-limiting illnesses. It also shares resources and support for families, friends, and caregivers.

“They help people live right to the end comfortably, and [help] ease the suffering,” Main said.

All money raised through the Hike for Hospice helps fund Palliative Manitoba’s volunteer visitor program.

“It goes towards our grief and bereavement programs, which we have for adults, as well as children and teens,” Jennifer Gurke, Palliative Manitoba’s executive director, told CTV News.

Executive director Jennifer Gurke said Main doesn’t only raising money for the non-profit organizations – she also raises awareness about quality end-of-life care in Manitoba.

“She’s an inspiration to me,” Gurke said. “I mean, I wish I had the contacts she has, I wish I had the ‘pound the pavement’ mentality that Barbara has to get out there and just go hard.”

Main credits her donor base for supporting Palliative Manitoba over the years and plans to continue highlighting the work it does.

“They have a palliative care team that offers compassion, they offer understanding, and they offer all the care and support that will help you,” Main said. “What’s the slogan? Helping you live today.”

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