Protesters' parking plea: Add more cancer-patient spaces
A woman with stage 3 ovarian cancer is once again leading the charge to have 25 parking spots designated for people getting chemotherapy treatments at the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Centre in St. John's.
"They are needed," said Susan Glynn, who has been fighting for the parking spaces for almost two-and-a-half years.
"We need the premier to get those 25 spots and he's the only man that can do that right now."
Glynn was joined by about a dozen other people in the main parking lot of the Health Sciences Centre Wednesday afternoon. A petition on change.org started by Glynn two years ago has garnered 23,000 signatures.
She said she is making a direct pitch to Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball because her requests to Eastern Health haven't given her the results she has wanted.
Glynn noted the health authority added eight blue zone spaces in July and then more in the underground lot at the Janeway Children's Hospital.
But that's not good enough, she argued.
"You can't look at the Health Sciences and, say, put us all under the one umbrella. We are not under the one umbrella," Glynn told reporters at what she called a peaceful rally.
"Dr. H. Bliss Murphy is a separate building and that clinic needs to have those 25 designated spots."
Glynn wants them to stand out from other accessible parking spaces — painted red and marked with a C.
This week, Glynn will mark her 20th chemotherapy treatment and said she knows first-hand the toll that comes from not being able to find a parking spot close to the entrance.
"You're fatigued," she said.
Eastern Health: we have to be fair to all patients
Eastern Health points out it added 30 blue zone parking spaces last year — 10 at the main parking lot of the Health Sciences Centre and 20 underground at the Janeway.
"These spaces are available to cancer patients as well as other patients with mobility issues. While we recognize the specific challenges of patients in specific treatment programs, we cannot offer special parking consideration to one group of patients over patients from other treatment groups," reads a statement from Eastern Health to CBC News on Wednesday.
"As a health authority that treats thousands of men, women and children with medical and/or mobility issues, we have an obligation to be fair to them all."
The health authority said any patient that needs parking close to the facility can apply for a blue zone permit through the motor registration division of Service NL.
Glynn insisted it's not about pitting one patient — or illness — against another.
"It's not just for the people who are facing cancer now, there are going to be more people in the future that are going to go down the cancer journey," she said.
"So even for them to be able to have those 25 spots, it will make their journey a little easier."