City considers memorial to Markvoort
Former Miss New West inspired people around the world with her blog about life with cystic fibrosis
By Theresa Mcmanus, The Record
The city is exploring the possibility of creating a memorial to a young woman who dedicated much of her life to raising awareness about cystic fibrosis and the need for organ donation.
Eva Markvoort passed away March 27 after a lifelong battle with cystic fibrosis. A lifelong friend has requested that the city consider naming a garden in Queen's Park in her memory - Eva's Garden of Hope.
Markvoort, a former Miss New Westminster and a graduate of New Westminster Secondary School, was the subject of an award-winning documentary, 65_RedRoses. A short version is scheduled to be re-aired on the Passionate Eye on CBC on July 26.
Markvoort's blog about life with cystic fibrosis inspired people across the world.
New Westminster resident Diane McQuade has written to the city's parks department asking that it consider naming a garden in Queen's Park after Markvoort. While she recognizes that the city likely receives a lot of requests for memorials, she believes such a tribute is warranted for "an extraordinary person" who opened her struggles with her disease to the world and let people know exactly what life with cystic fibrosis is like.
"Upon Eva's airing of 65_RedRoses on CBC in October, the Canadian organ donation saw a surge of registrants triple in a matter of days," she wrote. "This is not something easily done, but the documentary of Eva's struggle made the whole world stand up and realize that everyone has a choice to help, it wasn't something that wasn't already known by the world, but it seems Eva's struggle jump-started the world to realize the difference that choice would make to someone else."
Markvoort's efforts earned her the Summerhayes Award, which is given to someone who has done outstanding work above and beyond the struggle for cystic fibrosis.
"Eva wanted nothing more than to have a legacy left behind once her fight came to an end. She has achieved in her short-lived life what very few people have," McQuade wrote. "She has made the world stop for moment, reflect on their lives and those around them and realize how lucky we are, those of us that aren't sick."
Council directed staff to identify options for an appropriate memorial to the former city ambassador.
Meanwhile, a piece of artwork paying tribute to Markvoort is raising funds for the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Sixty-five members of the Federation of Canadian Artists created a piece of artwork in honour of Markvoort, each contributing a single painting of a red rose that were then combined into one composite painting.
The original 65 Red Roses painting is currently on view at Hwang & Company Law Corporation in the Westminster Building at 711 Columbia St. Donations are being accepted for the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Commemorative prints of the painting are available at both the law firm and Copp's Shoes (638 Columbia St.) for $65.