Mary Gazetas’ health—how to help

Update, April 17, 2012: With great sorrow, we share the news that Mary Gazetas passed away this morning. There will be a memorial service and celebration of life this Saturday, April 21, in Richmond. Mary’s family will post details on the Light a Candle for Mary blog.
Note: Since March 21, updates about Mary Gazetas’ health have been added on a separate Light a Candle for Mary blog instead of in this article. However, the comments below this article express many good wishes for Mary and her family that remain much appreciated—worth reading.

Mary Gazetas, a “game changer” founding Friend of Garden City, is in critical condition and on life support in Richmond Hospital with an infection. Mary’s family and community held a candlelight vigil in a place that represents Mary’s immense labours of love.

Son Michael Gazetas wrote, “We know that the next 48 hours are very important to her recovery, so we are inviting all her friends and family to a special vigil at the Healing Garden she helped create with the Sharing Farm and City of Richmond. Please forward this to any and all folk you think may be able to join us.”

That was on Saturday, March 17. It may appear that the vigil is over, but all of us can still take part. Michael said, “Her colleague and friend Marlene Parsons, the spiritual advisor and pastor for Minoru and Richmond Hospitals, will be leading a healing prayer.” We can still join in prayer or in healing thoughts, depending on our philosophy.

Whenever one gets the invitation, which may be right now for you, that’s the perfect time to act.

March 18 health update from Michael Gazetas:

The family and I are just working on getting through the next 48 hours and then hopefully we’ll have a website / blog where Mary’s friends and supporters can go and get up-to-date news. 

She is holding her own, but still in critical condition on life support at the ICU. Small but positive steps in terms of reducing the level of life support over the past 24 hours is the story of the moment . . . . . so we are all feeling positive and hopeful.

March 19 health update from Michael Gazetas:

Hello everyone, 

Mary has had an increase in fever — from yesterday’s 37.8˚C to this morning’s  39.1˚C, a moderate to high fever.  Her breathing has become a bit more difficult and the medical team has increased her oxygen percentages upwards to 55% from 40%, along with an increase in assisted positive pressure from the ventilator. Overall, her status has been described to us all as stable but critical.   It’s normal to see trends up and down over a period of time, we’ve been told. My sense of things is that we are into a multiple-day waiting game and we may not see a substantive change, either positive or negative, for several days. A new doctor in the ICU begins his 7-day shift today, Dr. Halogen, like the lightbulb. 
We’ll most likely have a medical website/blog picked in the next 48 hours where we can direct family and friends to leave healing messages and find out the latest in medical updates.  We’ll keep you all posted as often as possible until then. Thanks again for all the positive healing thoughts, prayers and messages. More updates tomorrow around lunch time.
Love from Michael, Sophie and Calliope and all our family
March 20 update:
No word from Michael today, but Arzeena Hamir informs us that Mary has just received a Female Food Hero honour from Oxfam. Mary is always far too focused on generating enthusiasm and practical results to think about hero honours, but they happen. She is also a Global National Everyday Hero and a LiveSmart BC Community Hero.
March 21 update from Mary’s daughter Calliope Gazetas:
We’ve set up a blog to post updates about Mary Gazetas’ recovery and  health. We’ve posted news from the doctor consultation with her ICU doctor that we had yesterday. We’re having another consultation when we get  more test results back at the end of this week, so we will post that as  soon as we have more news. Sophie and I will be updating daily if we  can. It will be the best place for you all to get the most  recent news and the quickest way to keep everyone up to date. Please visit the Light a Candle for Mary blog. Thank you all for your support and kind thoughts.

Note: The comment immediately below this consists of responses received in email messages to us. The separate comments with good wishes for Mary and her family are equally welcome.



  1. 1
    kewljim Says:

    Some comments in responses received by email:

    “I pray for Mary’s recovery and healing.”

    “I haven’t seen Mary so much lately. Still I know she is one of Richmond’s living treasures and I admire her greatly. Hoping and praying for the best.”

    “Mary has been a beacon of light in Richmond. With best wishes for coming through this.

    “She is an amazing person, and I’ll be lighting a candle this evening and praying for her recovery. With loving thoughts, . . .”

    “Mary is in my prayers. I could not be at the vigil but will pray for her and her family.”

    “I too heard of this too late, but send every possible good wish that I can muster!”

    “I will be praying for her.”

    “Our best wishes and prayers for Mary. May she have the strength to overcome her issue. We love you and pray for you. Mary.”

    From a young woman in Kitimat who was a student intern on the sharing farm five years ago: “Please pass on my prayers and healing thoughts to Mary and the friends of the Sharing Project. I hope very much for a strong recovery for such a wonderful person.”

  2. 2
    Marlene Morris Says:

    Mary is so full of life that one can hardly believe someone as vibrant as her could be so sick. I’ve known Mary about 9 years now. Mary is such an inspiration to us all and we will keep her in my prayers that she overcomes this infection and remains a driving force in our community for years to come.Our thoughts go out to her family.

    Marlene and Harvey Morris

  3. 3
    Laura Bain Says:

    Our best thoughts and wishes to Mary and her family on her speedy recovery from this illness. What a special person she is!

  4. 4

    I am so saddened to hear that Mary is unwell. Her contrinutions to the Richmond Community deserve our loudest applause. May you be well, Mary. Cheers. Elaine.

  5. 5
    Marina Szijarto Says:

    Sending you much love Mary, from all your friends down here at the Finn Slough – get well and come down and visit us again, You are in out hearts.
    Lv Mx

  6. 6
    nadeane trowse Says:

    all good wishes, Mary! you are indispensible and much loved

    Nadeane and David

  7. 7
    glen andersen Says:

    Mary, I hope your recovery is gentle and that your big heart and smiling face are back in our midst soon, when you are ready, of course!

  8. 8

    Mary … you have been such an inspiration to so many – I know the many are all pulling for you, from your Guatemala and Italian travel friends, the art and culture community, Roxanne, Me and the staff at P.A. W. Heaps of Love Mary !

  9. 9
    Jennifer Hamilton Says:

    Mary – all our your London Landing neighbors are wishing you a speedy and full recovery. With Love – Jennifer & Dan

  10. 10
    pat branch Says:

    mary. you can do this… are strong and so loved. come on for all of us. we love you and need you and hugo needs you. much love pat branch

  11. 11
    Britt Faulkes Says:

    Mary! Britt here : ). I can’t believe it was just the other day I was talking to you at the bank and playing with Hugo. You are such an inspiration to so many people and consider myself so lucky to know you. I’ve been thinking of you constantly since I first found out you were ill. Get better! I’m gonna be bossy about that! Italy awaits you! And my best wishes and support to your entire family. Love you!

  12. 12
    Shary Bartlett Says:

    Sending you, Mary, Calliope and your family my thoughts and prayers. I was so sorry and shocked to hear of Mary’s illness. I will send lots of healing energy and wishing you the best outcome. Shary

  13. 13

    Mary and family, I feel very deep sadness for you. I hope you are not suffering greatly, Mary, and that you come out of this soon.

  14. 14
    Anne White Says:

    Mary: It was a pleasure seeing the bond that you and Caliope have when we saw you in Guatemala. Your article on the trip was interesting. I hope to see you on Mark’s Italian trip this year. Our thoughts are with you as we wish you a speedy recovery. Peter and Anne White.

  15. 15
    Thea Phillips Says:

    Sending you positive thoughts Mary that you will get through this. Our best wishes go to Calli as well, it must be hard to be so far away from home when you receive news like this. Our best wishes for a speedy recovery, Thea and Brian Phillips.

  16. 16
    Sherry Sakamoto Says:

    Dear Mary,

    You are in my and many people’s thoughts.Sending you healing and love.

    Sherry Sakamoto

  17. 17
    Sarah Fleming Says:

    Mary: you and all your family are very much in my thoughts and prayers. Wishing you strength, excellent care and full recovery.

  18. 18
    Shary Bartlett Says:

    Dear Calli, Phoebe and Sophie

    I am so very grieved to hear of Mary’s passing. I have been following your thoughtful and loving reports and it seemed she was getting better. it was such a pleasure to be with Mary, and you, Calli, in Guatemala. Mary was so full of life and one of those inspiring people one does not forget. I would love to come to her celebration of life, but unfortunately, am teaching a workshop all day, and am unable to cancel it. Please know that you are all in my thoughts at this very sad time.


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