A little support helps Ed return to pursuing his passions as an entertainer
Wednesday December 14, 2011 — Ryan Rogers
After developing a serious heart condition about two years ago, Ed “Elvis the Pelvis” Kushner, 62, is back to work, and looking to pursue his passion as an entertainer, and all he needed was a little support to get back on the right track.
Ed has worked in the hospitality industry for more than 20 years, serving customers, prepping food and washing dishes at several hotels and restaurants across the Lower Mainland, but the sudden onset of a serious heart condition relegated him dependent on unemployment insurance, which ran out in 15 weeks.
Ed was referred to the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI) and outreach worker Tony Matijiw, to help him get back on his feet. Sometimes it just takes a little push or a small contribution to get someone get back on their feet and being successful, says Tony.
With some support from BACI, Ed had his hearing examined, was connected with a program to help manage the cost of batteries for his hearing aid, he has gained access to a disability pension and found a part-time job three blocks from his home.
“They helped me a lot,” says Ed. “I’ve been (at work) a couple months now, and they say I do a fantastic job.”
Tony says all Ed needed was someone to help him through his difficult time.
“He had no income, he was on heart medications that were costing him a few hundred bucks a month, he couldn’t afford them, and it was a terrible situation,” says Tony.
“He’s doing so much better now,” adds Tony. “He looks better, healthier and all of that.”
Ed says he’s looking forward to getting involved in more recreational opportunities through BACI like floor hockey and basketball, and pursuing his creative ambitions in cartooning.
“When I was a kid I used to draw cartoons – I’d like to get into that,” says Ed.
But his great passion is entertaining as his alter ego “Elvis the Pelvis.”
Equipped with a kingly wig and outfit, his lip-synching stage persona is eager to perform at birthdays, weddings, churches and retirement homes.
“I’m an entertainer — I would have been like Elvis,” says Ed. “If I had a chance, I’d like to be a singing entertainer travelling the world. I’d like to do that in my life.”
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