Courtenay casino staff surprise co-worker with cash

Online fundraising campaign brings in $6,000 to assist cancer-stricken associate

Donald Playfaor

Donald Playfaor

An online campaign generated about $6,000 to assist Donald Playfair in his battle against Myelodysplastic Syndrome, also known as pre-leukemia.

The 63-year-old Merville resident has undergone a successful stem-cell transplant and chemotherapy at Vancouver General Hospital.

Before returning home, he needs to spend another three months at the Jean C. Barber Lodge near VGH. At the end of his four-month stay, the bill will be $5,500. But thanks to the efforts of friends, he could be going home with about $1,000, which will help pay for a home care nurse.

Playfair’s former Courtenay casino co-workers Lindsy McLaughlin, Sid Hamel and Barb Mills initiated the fundraising campaign.

“It’s simply amazing,” Playfair said. “The company did really well by me.”

In addition to online donations, Playtime Gaming Courtenay (Chances) hosted a couple of fundraisers. Patrons at Courtenay Return It Depot also chipped in.

Playfair last worked at the casino in August but he plans to eventually resume his job.

He also plans to volunteer with a cancer support group.

“What goes around comes around,” Playfair said. “The future looks bright so far. As long as there’s no major side efforts from the chemo, I should be OK.”