Outreach and Support
Island Kids Cancer Association offers several key programs accessible to families on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Our focus is to provide outreach, connections, valuable information, shared experience, mental health and wellness, and financial support to families — our goal is to be there when needed.
Together for Kids
A cancer diagnosis is devastating, no matter your age, and for children and families a sense of pervasive isolation can make things even harder. Together for Kids can be the first step. The pediatric oncology clinics at Victoria General Hospital and BC Children’s Hospital connect families to IKCA, and our Family Navigator ensures they are given the opportunity to become part of our charity outreach and support. IKCA realizes kids and families can be in different stages of this journey, and will provide a constant connection regardless of the family’s participation and receiving tangible outreach.
Family Connections Program
Families and kids need opportunities to have fun, create, and connect. IKCA provides monthly opportunities which enable families to connect with each other and their community. In addition to social outings, we work closely with Power to Be and the Pacific Institute for Sports Excellence to provide children and their families with fun, family outdoor recreational events and spring and summer kids sports camps. IKCA also supports our Sibling Group and AYA Group, providing them with opportunities to connect and build strong networks throughout the year.
Family Financial Assistance Program
A childhood cancer diagnosis can be financially catastrophic. IKCA provides short-term funding to help a family cover expenses to help manage income, housing, food, childcare, medical or other needs. Constant travel to and from appointments and taking care of the critically ill child means families will often be faced with reduced income and additional expenses. The unique circumstances of residing on Vancouver Island means increased costs and burdens, and decreased accessibility for recipients whose children are receiving treatment at BC Children’s Hospital.
Touchstones Mental Health and Wellness Program
Mental health and wellness for individuals and families is critical and sometimes challenging through a childhood cancer diagnosis. The ability to cope can directly affect the wellbeing of the child and their family. Children and youth diagnosed with cancer often struggle with the stress of their critical illness, as it can up end their lives and the lives of those around them. Touchstones focuses on mental health support, minimizing barriers, and helping families find the service providers or specialized therapists that may be a fit for their unique needs.
Hospital and Clinic Resource Program
Simple steps and resources can make a big difference. IKCA works closely with front line staff at the Victoria General Hospital Pediatric Oncology Outpatient Clinic. We provide this clinic with emergency grocery and fuel vouchers, cafeteria and Tim Horton’s food, drink and coffee vouchers, child life resources, and healthy snacks
for the in-clinic snack cupboard.
Food Delivery Program
Comfort meals and produce deliveries help nourish our kids and families. Heartfelt Meals provides families with ready-made meals, delivered right to their door. These meals are not meant for long-term meal solutions, but at times when needed the most. Produce deliveries are offered throughout the year to families across Vancouver Island and special produce boxes delivered around important holidays.
IKCA provides specialized programs with access to connections within our community, and mental health and wellness support to families whose children have passed. Families are given opportunities for individualized care according to their unique situation and needs. Bereaved siblings are given opportunities to connect, create and heal through community outings and events. IKCA will continue to walk with Angel Families as they navigate their losses and grief.
Comfy Kids Car Program
The Comfy Car solves an urgent need in accessing a safe and reliable form of transportation during a time when all energy needs to be with the child. The program was created to help Vancouver Island families transport their children with cancer to and from medical appointments at BC Children’s Hospital. We are extremely grateful for the generosity of our community which incudes Saunders Family Foundation, Jim Pattison Subaru, Peninsula Co-op, and Hub International.
Reach Out to Our Family Coordinator
We’re here to support you through this journey. As a first step, please use the form below to contact IKCA Family Navigator, Megan Pearmain.
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