Canadian Lung Association Blog

Remembering Marion Carson

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Alberta’s tuberculosis movement began with a woman of vision.

Calgary’s Marion Carson devoted her life to help tuberculosis patients in Alberta – working actively up until her death at age 89 in 1950.

Marion begins our story as The Lung Association, Alberta & NWT (“TLA”) looks back and celebrates our 75 years of service to the community.

She was tremendously active in her newly adopted home, creating the Women’s Literacy Club in 1906, and as an active member of the Calgary School Board during the 1920s. She also helped underprivileged children by collecting milk money for Calgary’s less fortunate and formed a group to feed the unemployed during the Great Depression.

Marion was born in Kent County, Ont. May 9, 1861, but moved westward to Manitoba and eventually settled in Calgary with her husband William Carson in 1893.

According to archives from the Calgary School Board, Marion realized her passion and true calling was in helping the shockingly high number of patients who were suffering from tuberculosis.

Stricken by the unusually high number of cases, Marion began actively volunteering and recruiting others in her work. Her efforts eventually led to the construction of Alberta’s first TB sanatorium in 1910, and for years after that, Marion led free TB clinics for school children.

Marion became the first leader of the newly formed “Alberta Tuberculosis Association” (now TLA) and held the role for more than a decade.

Known as one of Canada’s oldest tuberculosis workers, Mrs. Carson was awarded with a lifetime membership to the Canadian Tuberculosis Association (now the Canadian Lung Association) in 1950 shortly before she died.

Her legacy is a reason why the school board in Calgary chose to name Marion Carson School after the legendary woman of vision.

“Carson is an excellent example of somebody who gave her whole life towards making a difference for others,” said Joy Bowen-Eyre, vice-chair of the Calgary Board of Education.

Click here for more information on how to become a volunteer with TLA or phone 1-888-566-5864.

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