Richard and I went to Ivana’s Memorial Service. We got there 15 minutes before the service started. With three parking lots to park in we took the last space. When we went into the chapel there were only five seats left. If we had arrived three minutes later we would have been standing.
A Chinese man who worked with Ivana told us how great a person she was to work with. She always pulled her own weight and more. She was an engineer, helping to survey roads and worked in the mountains much of the time.
To keep in shape she ran at least two miles every morning before breakfast up Mountain Highway in North Vancouver, British Columbia, then returning home to shower and eat.
When she was in the field, which was often, she carried her own 60-pound pack on her back as the men did. With this pack, she also carried the heavy tripod under her left arm and a machete in her right hand, climbing up mountain terrain slashing underbrush in order to survey.
In the office, she accomplished her work within the time scheduled and helped others cheerfully. She never complained of ailments of any kind at any time, although she must have had severe muscle pains as often as the men certainly did.
When a company slowdown came because of severe cutbacks, out of an office of 30 workers only 3 were kept on. They kept Ivana. She was as intelligent as she was industrious.
All of us who knew her miss her greatly. Those of us whom she took in as close friends and loved were inspired by her great courage as her illness progressed. She had two sets of silicone implants, the first set at 29 years of age. When she died Easter Monday 1996, she was 52 years and 9 months old.
Her advice to all women who have implants, or are contemplating getting them, is: “Nobody can be truly well with implants, love yourself for the way you are. Your creator has given you a beautiful body; please don’t you and your doctor try to improve it. Breast implants are very toxic and they are the greatest insult we can give our body.”
She told me that, when she recovered, she would work with me in the Implant Awareness Society to spread the truth about implants.
We will always remember Ivana Buchar; Karen Gates, Cleo Bara, along with Clara Schimpf, our secretary, Ann Gage-Cole our Vice President. None ever reached 60 years of age. Ricky McAndrew was 70 years old when she passed in 1996. These six women will always be remembered. Their suffering and pain are acknowledged; they have not died in vain.