We spoke with Jackie Lee, President of the Vancouver Diamond Lions Club on giving to women’s health.

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The motto of every member of the Vancouver Diamond Lions Club is “we serve”. In light of the pandemic, this statement rings true now more than ever. The BC Women’s Health Foundation Senior Manager of Philanthropy, Mandy Ling, spoke with Jackie Lee, Vancouver Diamond Lions Club President, about the importance of giving back to the community. When the BC Women’s Health Foundation came up as a non-profit organization to give to, the Board of Directors couldn’t be more supportive of giving to women’s health.  

Mandy Ling: Why does women’s health matter to you?

Jackie Lee: When I married my wife more than a decade ago, I was advised  “happy wife, happy life”.  I have always been a loyal listener to women since my childhood. The stories from my mom, my cousins, my wife and my female friends and colleagues over the years helped me learn that women’s health is extremely important not just to themselves, but also to me, and to society. I read an SFU study that suggests that the gender inequalities in politics, employment, and income result in health concerns through the biases they experience. 

I believe that women’s mental health is as important as physical health. In our society we often neglect that all genders are not only physically different, but the minds are also different;we should advocate for more studies for mental health to erase the misconceptions.

ML: What women’s health statistic shocks you? How did that change how you perceive women’s health?

JL: I was reading some research over the years, and found that the lifetime prevalence of major depression for women is double that of men, and women are also more prone to experience stress caused by life course events. Most people believe that women live longer than men, but few people know depression is significantly associated with increased risk of heart disease among women but this is not the case among men experiencing depression

ML: Is there a woman, or women, in your life who inspires you?

JL: My mom definitely inspires me in many ways—her resilience, her kindness to all people, and she has always been the rock of our family. She is the inspiration for me to give back and try my very best on every opportunity.

ML: What inspires the Vancouver Diamond Lions Club to give back to the community?

JL: The Lions Club International President stated that “The world needs us now more than ever.” When I became the President of Vancouver Diamond Lions Club in July 2020, I knew that would be a tough year for the community during this unprecedented time. I set the simple goal for the board and for all members to help the community as a team, together.  Throughout the year, we’ve raised funds for various community organizations.  When I was approached with the opportunity to support the BC Women’s Health Foundation, our Board was happy to support and approved collectively. I am grateful that we partnered with a great Vancouver-based designer, “Proudly Vancouver”, to make this fundraiser possible.

The Vancouver Diamond Lions Club is raising funds through sales of the Proudly Vancouver UV Jacket that is perfect for cool summer nights. Partial proceeds support BC Women’s Health Foundation and the goal of healthy women everywhere, capable of anything.