Community

Langford teen tackles homeless health issue

Langford resident Isha Cheema is collecting money to purchase feminine hygiene products for homeless women. - Katherine Engqvist/News Gazette staff
Langford resident Isha Cheema is collecting money to purchase feminine hygiene products for homeless women.
— image credit: Katherine Engqvist/News Gazette staff

A 15-year-old Langford resident has taken up a cause many wouldn’t think twice about.

Isha Cheema’s campaign, called Menstruation Love, is raising funds to purchase feminine hygiene supplies for women in need.

Every year homeless women around the world die of toxic shock syndrome (TSS), a situation that got Cheema thinking. With the average woman having to change supplies several times a day when menstruating, she realized that could really start to add up for women who are literally counting every cent they have.

“What would people do if they didn’t have many (tampons)?” she asked. “They have to decide between food and being clean and their health That’s why I decided to do this, to help people around Victoria.”

TSS is a rare, but life-threatening bacterial infection that is often linked to using a tampon for an extended period of time. It can cause fatal organ failure if left untreated and once symptoms present, it requires immediate medical attention.

Cheema’s goal is to raise $200 to purchase feminine hygiene products to supply different agencies in the region, such as the Victoria Cool Aid Society, for women that need them.

The modest goal will let her gauge the community’s response and the needs of different shelters and agencies, while also allowing her to find avenues to purchase the items in bulk.

“I was seeing so many fundraisers (but) nobody really thinks about menstrual supplies,” she noted.

After about a month of fundraising and going door-to-door in her neighbourhood, she’s nearly reached her goal.

Cheema hopes to eventually branch out and support shelters up Island as well. “If it does end up working well, I hope I can help other people,” she said. If the fundraising aspect of her project becomes really successful, she said, she’d like to help people across Canada set up similar campaigns.

In the meantime, you can support her local campaign by going to gofundme.com/menstruation-love.

katie@goldstreamgazette.com

 

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