After she was illegally evicted from her apartment despite her palliative condition, Nanaimo woman Sharon Kowalchuk has found solace and comfort in a new home where she can live peacefully.
Kowalchuk beamed Monday as she shared the excitement of her new lease on life.
Since the dying Nanaimo woman was evicted and had her electricity cut by her landlord, Kowlachuk has been buoyed by an outpouring of love and support — leading her to the new digs.
“I feel fantastic, so much better,” said Kowalchuk. “One-hundred per cent better. Can’t be any happier,” said Sharon’s husband Gerry Casey.
CHEK News viewers touched by Kowalchuk’s tearful plea for help raised an extraordinary $35,000 to help the senior, after the couple’s landlord illegally evicted the palliative woman because too many ambulances were coming to her apartment due to her dying. Kowalchuk said he cut off her heat, power and ability to refill her oxygen tanks, to force her out.
“It’s horrible. There’s no legal grounds for it. You know she’s palliative, she doesn’t have much longer to live,” Kowalchuk’s support worker Shawn Nickerson told CHEK News March 2.
According to BC Minister of Housing Ravi Kahlon, a team of investigators from the Residential Tenancy Branch is now going over that landlord’s actions and records. Hefty fines and disciplinary action are possible.
“We expect that investigation to be concluded in a month, and certainly hoping for a very positive outcome for this individual,” said Kahlon.
With donated funds, Kowalchuk, her husband Gerry and cat Molly, have moved into a sunny home in central Nanaimo where she wants to enjoy every day that she has left.
“I’m not ready. I’m not ready to die. I’m planning on putting up one hell of a fight” said Kowalchuk, Monday.
The couple has moved into the home of Bev Somers, a friend who knows the help that’s needed when dying. Her husband Dan died in August after a lengthy illness.
“And he was palliative and I had him right to the end. Right to the end,” said Somers, who has known Kowalchuk and her husband for over 20 years.
“Are you willing to go to the end with her?” CHEK News reporter Skye Ryan asked Somers.
“Oh sure. Oh sure,” she answered, smiling.
While Kowalchuk is planning her funeral now, she plans to very much consider it a celebration of life — one she will try to postpone for as long as she can.