For more than a decade, Geoffrey Perkins and Joy Wilkin have served the Jewish community through their care of the Congregation cemetery and of the families that come there to bury their loved ones. Geoffrey and Joy, two remarkable individuals, are keepers of the cemetery’s memories and the memories of those buried there; they are people who give far more than they take. As the cemetery director, I value greatly the immense knowledge that I have gained from these two people.
Last Wednesday, Joy collapsed, hitting furniture while falling, and breaking some teeth as she fell to the floor. While Geoffrey thought initially that Joy might have had a stroke, once the paramedics got her to the Jubilee the neurosurgeons found a tumour “the size of a golf ball” in her brain’s right parietal lobe. She was transferred to Victoria General Hospital on Thursday, successful brain surgery was performed Friday, and she was home Sunday.
When I saw her on Monday this week, she looked wonderful (if you ignored the 40 staples on the side of her head!): there was seemingly none of the kinds of things that can result from an insult to the brain! Joy is going to be out of work for a while, and is going to need some serious dental work done.
I plan to donate to a gofundme campaign, set up by one of Joy’s co-workers at the Royal Jubilee Hospital, and will join other members of the Congregation’s Cemetery Committee in ensuring that Joy gets some of the financial help that she needs in this difficult period.
You can donate to the gofundme campaign at https://www.gofundme.com/joys-battle-with-brain-tumor
If you are uncomfortable using the gofundme web site, you can make a directed contribution (non tax-receiptable) through Emanu-El to the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund which the Rabbi can redirect toward Joy’s dental expenses.
Dr. Richard Kool, Director, Congregation Emanu-El Cemetery