On the afternoon of July 14, 2022, a typically unobtrusive downtown Lethbridge street was inundated with police vehicles as a high-risk situation unfolded inside an office building.
Kathryn Linder, an employee of Lethbridge Legal Guidance, had been taken hostage by someone asking to speak to a specific lawyer.
Authorities determined there was an imminent threat to her life and entered the building.
Linder survived multiple life-threatening stab wounds to her neck and is now in recovery.
“It’s taken its toll on her. It’s traumatic, but you know it’s one day at a time,” longtime friend Alana Wheeler told Global News on Wednesday.
“In my many talks with Kathryn, she doesn’t want to be labeled as a victim. She’s a survivor, you know? She’s very strong.”
Courtney Louise Shaw was arrested in connection to the hostage-taking and charged with multiple offences including attempted murder.
On Wednesday, Shaw’s case was adjourned to September 1st. She remains in custody.
Wheeler has known Linder for around 10 years and wanted to help turn her situation for the better.
“A group of us, we were really wanting to do everything we could for her, and thinking of the causes that really meant a lot to Kathryn,” she explained.
They landed on Canadian Blood Services —where Linder has rolled up her sleeves to give blood and plasma on many occasions.
“Kathryn has donated well over 100 times herself, so we thought what better way to contribute to her ongoing healing than to do the plasma please drive?”
Wheeler took to Facebook, sharing the details of the drive and encouraging family and friends to take part at the Lethbridge plasma donor centre.
“We have quite a few spots available, so please register under the team name 50 Shades of Red ID# TKRU0104910,” the post read.
“I’ve had a lot of messages from people, not only in Lethbridge but in Calgary, reaching out, (asking) how they can contribute, if they can join the team,” Wheeler explained.
“It’s been a really positive response.”
Whether or not they participate in this specific drive, Wheeler encourages the public to consider donating plasma — a protein-rich liquid in blood that helps other blood components circulate throughout the body. Plasma donations are given similar to blood and can help treat many types of cancer, bleeding disorders and liver diseases.