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How Reader’s Digest Canada Has Changed People’s Lives for the Better

To mark the 70th anniversary of Reader’s Digest Canada, we selected four inspiring stories that show the amazing ways our magazine connect with our readers.

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Linda WoolridgePhoto: Alex Stead Photography

Linda Woolridge, Mount Pearl, N.L.

Memorable article: “Kelly’s Gift,” by James Ricci (April 1984)

In the summer of 1984, my 16-year-old daughter Danette read an article in Reader’s Digest Canada about a family who had donated their child’s organs after the youngster had died unexpectedly. Danette brought the piece over and asked me to read it. She was impressed by the story and made it clear that she too would have wanted to be a donor if she had been in the child’s place. That September, five days after being in a car accident, Danette died of a severe head injury, leaving us heartbroken. In accordance with her wishes, my husband and I donated her organs.

Here’s how a son saved his father’s life through a kidney donation daisy chain.

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Sandy McArthurPhoto: Lyle Grisedale

Sandy McArthur, Cranbrook, B.C.

Memorable article: “Leave Home or Get Help,” by Mary Ellen Pinkham (January 1987)

On August 11, 1987, I was sitting with my two sisters in the younger one’s living room, anxiously awaiting our mother’s arrival. She’d agreed to meet us for tea; in reality, we—along with our aunt and a drug and alcohol counsellor—were planning an intervention. We had all read the same piece in Reader’s Digest Canada, which prompted us to talk openly about Mom’s drinking and what to do about it. Alcoholism wounds, and it kills—our father had passed away four years earlier, ravaged by the effects of his drinking. Thanks to the advice in this article, Mom remained sober for the last 22 years of her life.

Find out more about how to recognize and reduce the risk of addiction.

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Elechia Barry SproulePhoto: Mike Ford

Elechia Barry-Sproule, Newmarket, Ont.

Memorable article:Minutes From Death,” by Nicholas Hune-Brown (August 2013)

After a fall in July 2013, I broke the navicular bone in my ankle. Over the next two weeks I moved around very little and began feeling a sharp ache in my calf. Chest pains followed, along with laboured breathing when I climbed stairs, so I made plans to see my doctor in the near future. Then I came across the article about Cari MacLean and how she nearly died from a pulmonary embolism. I immediately called Telehealth Ontario and was advised to rush to the hospital, where a CT scan revealed three large pulmonary embolisms and a number of smaller clots. Reader’s Digest Canada saved my life.

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Parmjit (Paul) BhanguPhoto: Tanya Goehring

Parmjit (Paul) Bhangu, Vancouver

Memorable article: “It Pays to Increase Your Word Power,” by Wilfred Funk (August 1959)

I’ve been reading this magazine since 1958, when I was a Grade 9 student living in India. My dad was a subscriber, and our family would wait eagerly for the postman to bring Reader’s Digest every month. Back then your articles helped me learn English—especially Word Power, which enabled me to expand my vocabulary. I also devoured the book excerpts, which always contained inspirational stories of courage and basic human goodness—two virtues that remain important to me. I’m grateful to have had this valuable resource growing up, and I still read Reader’s Digest Canada regularly today.

If you teach your child these three languages, you’ll basically be raising a future CEO!

Originally Published in Reader's Digest Canada