Cancer is a terrible illness; some are cured and other are less fortunate. I have first-hand experience on how indiscriminate cancer is – it’s tough on everyone, especially the sufferer. Elaine Arbeau, a 67-year old woman from Whitby in Ontario, has suffered with many types of cancers for the last 20-years and as a result of gruelling therapies and procedures, she has been left unable to breathe through her mouth or nose, but instead through a hole in her neck.
Government guidelines on face masks do not stretch to those who are exempt, such as Elaine, but this didn’t stop her being turned away from her much-loved bingo hall twice recently. Back in August, she was left in tears after being told to cover the hole in her neck, she explained that if she did this she would suffocate. Staff at the bingo venue didn’t care and instructed her to leave.
Feeling embarrassed and totally humiliated…
…Elaine returned home in floods of tears. She had waited 6-months to get back out into the open and specifically to bingo after lockdown rules were relaxed in Canada and was met with sheer ignorance and hostility at the Delta Bingo hall – where she goes to play bingo. Her son, Joe Gilbert, was furious but after being escorted from the premises, her son contacted the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation who said she should be allowed to enter, regardless of the breathing hole.
And so, it Continues:
After weeks of encouragement from her friends and family, and after hearing what the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation had to say, Elaine tried again, only to be humiliated once again! Only this time, she caught the whole showdown on video! Struggling to explain why she should be allowed to enter; her words were left on deaf ears as the manager on duty at the time said: “This is private property and they can mandate any rules that they want.”
Gilbert took to Facebook soon after his mother was turned away for a second time to air his frustration and attached a video for the whole world to see too. Soon after, the CEO of Delta Bingo was contacted by CTV News Toronto and he assured them he would take a “hard look” at the case, not before dropping into the conversation that those who cannot wear face masks should not be playing bingo at this time.
Since the events leading to the global public outrage, Elaine has set up her own Facebook profile to address what she calls “the cold heartless attitude” of many people who treat others, such as herself, with such distain. A week ago was the last we heard from Joe, with posts encouraging people to express how disappointed they are to the CEO of the bingo hall and invited those who feel discriminated against to send their views to the Prime Minister as well as the Mayor of Toronto and Pickering.
We hope to have an update on this story shortly.
Source: “Canadian Cancer Patient, 67, is Left in Tears After Being Kicked Out of Her Bingo Hall Twice for Not Using Mask to Cover the Breathing Hole in Her Neck”. Daily Mail. September 2, 2020.