How We Help

What We Do

Island Kids Cancer Association is a not-for-profit organisation that is here for families faced with the reality that their child has cancer. Our goal is to help the entire family navigate the journey by offering programs and services focused on connections, mental health and wellness and financial support.  We also break down isolation and financial barriers that surround childhood cancer, offering connections through IKCA workshops and other resources. We understand the challenges, know the system and we can help.

Unique Challenges

Families who have a child with cancer on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands can face unique challenges. A cancer diagnosis is devastating enough, but the added disruption of travel and hospitalization elsewhere, prolonged absences from work or home life, can take a major toll. When outpatient treatment can be given in Victoria, families will still be upended with frequent clinic visits, reduced income and additional expenses, adding to an already fragile and stressed family unit.

Girls on a rock, from the back
Famliy in a tree

Support For Kids & Youth

Island Kids Cancer Association not only supports the family as a whole, we have specific initiatives and activities aimed at supporting kids and youth with cancer directly, including siblings. We recognize that many kids and youth want to connect as individuals outside of their family units with unique challenges and preferred areas of outreach.

Support For Families

Providing outreach and support to the entire family truly enhances healing and care for the child or youth with cancer. Ultimately, it’s about helping support everyone within the entire family.

We design our programs and services to optimize this type of assistance, as we uniquely understand this reality.

Mental Health

The turmoil and disruption from a childhood cancer diagnosis reaches beyond the child, also significantly impacting their siblings and parents. These diagnoses immediately put a family into a crisis situation, and mental health and wellness becomes a priority. IKCA works with select psychologists, counselors and specialized therapists to provide kids, youth and their families with one on one support, family based and group workshops. IKCA strives to limit and remove barriers that may prevent families from participating in this critical program.

Financial Assistance

IKCA provides short-term funding to help a recipient cover expenses, so there is time to make longer-term arrangements to help manage income, housing, food, childcare, medical, or other needs. The unique circumstances of residing on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands means increased costs and burden, and decreased accessibility, for recipients who are treated at BC Children’s Hospital.

Hospital Outreach and Support

IKCA works closely with Victoria General Hospital, Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, BC Children’s Hospital, the BC Cancer Agency in Vancouver (LEAF Clinic) and Canuck Place Children's Hospice, ensuring Island kids and their families are supported regardless of the clinics and hospitals they attend. Food and fuel vouchers, child life resources and snack cupboard items are a few examples of the support IKCA provides in addition to working collaboratively with front line staff determining kids /families unique needs and requirements.

“The social support from events and activities keeps us connected to childhood oncology families which has built a very close network of beautiful people that help heal our hearts and spirit.”

Where Do I Start?

We’re here to support you through this journey. As a first step, contact IKCA Family Navigator, Tania Downey, using the form below.

Tania spends time helping families and individuals navigate and access the care and support they require.

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Our family navigator, Tania Downey

Connect With Us

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