Cherish Clarke’s voice is weak and raspy.
But the Takhini-Kopper King Liberal candidate is still going strong – running her campaign from a Vancouver hospital bed.
“I’m sorry about my voice,” she said, over the phone on Wednesday afternoon.
“I had a tube down my throat for the surgery.”
Clarke was medevaced to Vancouver last week for emergency lung surgery.
“I didn’t want to go out in the middle of an election campaign,” said the young mother.
But the doctors didn’t give Clarke a choice.
“I’d been having trouble with my lung since May,” she said.
“It felt like I had a 200-pound man sitting on my chest who wouldn’t get off.”
Doctors told Clarke her lung had collapsed. They pumped it full of air, but she still found herself winded and easily exhausted.
Things came to a head on September 22, when Clarke attended a ceremony at the Jackson Lake healing camp.
“I was having a hard time walking and breathing,” she said.
She went to emergency to ask for a puffer, “because I couldn’t go knocking on doors like this,” she said.
Doctors insisted on more X-rays and confirmed her lung had collapse again. They used a suction tube, but 20 per cent of Clarke’s lung refused to re-inflate.
That’s when she learned she’d have to go to Vancouver for surgery.
“Before I went I managed to make it to all 1,300 households in my riding,” she said. “And I talked to 565 people at the door.”
But Clarke didn’t stop there.
Every evening, while she’s been lying in a Vancouver hospital bed, Clarke has had a team of volunteers going door to door.
“And I have been updating my Facebook and Twitter at least once a day,” she said.
She’s also been working on making the Liberal platform more accessible for her constituents, “because there is so much there,” she said.
“It’s been an excellent opportunity to prove to my constituents how dedicated, resilient and committed I am.
“I didn’t want to go out,” added Clarke.
“But my healing has to come first, because I can’t help anyone else unless I help myself.”
Clarke is scheduled to be back in the Yukon on Friday.
She’s not sure if she’ll be knocking on doors this weekend, or not.
“I’ll have to see how I’m feeling,” she said.
Contact Genesee Keevil at