Making strides to fund memorial clinic

Ariel Hernandez

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James Umekwe, partner of the Kristina Chesterman Memorial Clinic, owns land where clinic will be built. Photo courtesy of Noelle Jahn.

The Kristina Chesterman Memorial Clinic is reaching out to the community to aid Kristina Chesterman’s dream of providing medical care to Africa. The group is hosting fundraisers soon and has raised $8,000 toward its $80,000 goal.

Chesterman was a nursing student who was killed after being struck by a motorist in September on Nord Avenue. The group raised $500 last fall, as reported by The Orion.

Darcy Lewis, a nursing instructor, is eager to reach the $80,000 goal.

“We couldn’t save her life as a community, but we can save her dreams as a community,” Lewis said.

Chesterman’s passion for a global nursing program, Doctors Without Borders, inspired her classmates and instructors to follow through with her dream and build a clinic in her honor.

The clinic will focus on tending to the needs in Nigeria, such as diabetes care, women’s health care and pediatric care.

“If we can get our funds going and break ground, our goal is to finish in May of 2015,” Lewis said. “It would be the same time that Kristina would have graduated.”

To turn the clinic into a reality, a team of students and faculty organized a variety of fundraisers.

The upcoming Live, Laugh, Love and Run! event is a 5- and 10-kilometer run on May 4 in Bidwell Park.

Those interested in registering can do so on the clinic’s website or in person at Chico Sports Club.

Noelle Jahn, a senior nursing major, has high hopes for the upcoming event.

“It’s a fundraiser and a run, but it’s also a whole lot more than that,” Jahn said.

The run will also offer booths representing organizations such as BloodSource, Enloe Medical Center and the California Organ Donor Association.

This event will be the first large event the group has hosted to help fund the clinic.

In addition to the upcoming run, the organization will be selling tiles, which will create a mural in the clinic.

“Kristina would have wanted everyone to be able to be a part of this clinic and we wanted to honor Kristina’s spirit,” Jahn said. “The tiles are a way for everyone to contribute, whether they knew her story or not.”

Someone can purchase a tile, engrave what they want in the tile and dedicate it to whomever they want, Jahn said.

The group will also be hosting a memorial horseback ride, dinner and silent auction, which will take place in September.

“Kristina had a very global vision of nursing and these efforts are our way of honoring that vision,” Lewis said.

For more information on the Kristina Chesterman Memorial Clinic or how to contribute to its efforts, email [email protected] or call 530-718-9892.

Ariel Hernandez can be reached at [email protected] or @Aj7uriel on Twitter

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