Nanaimo Search and Rescue has created Rescue Our Rescuer, a fundraiser for search and rescue technician Janet Rygnestad, who has been diagnosed with breast cancer and will be off work while she undergoes treatment throughout much of 2021. (Photo contributed)

Nanaimo Search and Rescue has created Rescue Our Rescuer, a fundraiser for search and rescue technician Janet Rygnestad, who has been diagnosed with breast cancer and will be off work while she undergoes treatment throughout much of 2021. (Photo contributed)

Nanaimo Search and Rescue launches ‘Rescue Our Rescuer’ for deputy chief who has cancer

Fundraiser started for search and rescue technician Janet Rygnestad, diagnosed with breast cancer

Nanaimo Search and Rescue has reached out to the public to help rescue its deputy chief after a cancer diagnosis.

Janet Rygnestad, NSAR’s deputy chief of operations, has breast cancer and will be unable to work as she receives treatment, starting with chemotherapy, which will she will undergo for much of 2021. She has been with NSAR since 2013 and is a rope rescue technician, the only female helicopter hoist technician on Vancouver Island, an avalanche and wilderness dog handler and a part-time ski patroller at Mount Washington. She is also a member of Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue.

Carly Trobridge, NSAR president and search manager, said Rygnestad will need about a year of very aggressive treatment.

“She was the first female team leader for Nanaimo SAR. She’s had all sorts of firsts,” Trobridge said. “I think she’s just one of those people who has spent so many years of her life giving back to the community with tireless volunteer service … she just finished her paramedic program through the Justice Institute of B.C. She gives everything she has to the community.”

Trobridge organized the online fundraiser, Rescue Our Rescuer, through FundRazr and has set a fundraising goal of $20,000. Within 40 hours of going online, nearly $8,000 had been raised.

Rygnestad is on leave from her full-time job as a project manager with environmental assessment and monitoring firm EcoFish Research. While she does have medical benefits through her employer, costs for supplemental drugs and therapies, accommodation in Victoria while she undergoes treatment and other expenses won’t be covered.

“She’s going to be missed, that’s for sure, but she’ll be back,” Trobridge said.

For more information about the fundraiser and to donate, click here. There is also a webpage set up where people can stay up to date on Rygnestad’s treatment progress and other fundraising events at http://rescueourrescuer.ca.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

READ ALSO: Nanaimo Search and Rescue wants to get started with rebuilding base



photos@nanaimobulletin.com
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CancerCommunityfundraiserSearch and Rescue

Just Posted

Police are investigating after a man was killed at a home on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Police investigating early-morning murder in Duncan

One arrested after man killed at Cowichan Lake Road home

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Firefighters from three departments battled a house fire south of Nanaimo for more than nine hours Sunday. (Photo courtesy Martin Leduc)
Home in Cedar destroyed by fire

Firefighters from three fire departments battle blaze fanned by strong winds Sunday

Police have identified the vehicle involved in the Feb. 14 hit-and-run in Chemainus and are continuing to investigate. (Black Press Media files)
Police seize and identify suspect vehicle in fatal Chemainus hit-and-run

Investigation expected to be lengthy and involved

Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hills using a homemade trip camera. Vancouver Island is home to approximately 800 cougars, which makes up about a quarter of the total population in B.C. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hill using a homemade trip camera. Schroyen presents Animal Signs: The Essence of Animal Communication on Nov. 30. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Declining Vancouver Island cougar populations linked to wolves

Large carnivore specialist says human development still plays biggest role on cougar numbers

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

A cougar was spotted Monday near Queneesh Elementary. (WildSafe BC photo)
Cougar sighted Monday near Courtenay school

Public to avoid the wooded areas around Queneesh Elementary

The Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre has reopened with 45 shelter spots for people experiencing homelessness in Victoria. (Courtesy of Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre)
Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre shelter in Victoria reopens with spots for 45 people

Arena is an interim step until long-term housing is found

Visitors relax at the natural hot springs located within Maquinna Marine Provincial Park. (tofinohiking.com photo)
Maquinna Marine Provincial Park boardwalk project on track

“The walk down the two-kilometre boardwalk to the springs itself is by far one of the most incredible experiences.”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Most Read