September Greetings from the Executive Director of IKCA

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September 10, 2019

 September Greetings, 

A warm hello to each and every one of you during this special Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. I am connecting with all of you as the Executive Director of Island Kids Cancer Association, but more importantly as a pediatric oncology mom to my amazing son Jacob who became my Angel 6 months ago.

I want you all to know how honored I am to be part of this amazing community of brave families. We connect with one another through unimaginable times, converse using a medical language that only we can understand, chatting about our kid’s bloodwork results, scans, our upcoming visits to BCCH, the nerves we feel leading up to that visit.. and the laughter we share that keeps us afloat, sometimes the dark humor that gives us that lift and “edge” to keep us going.  

September is a month for reflection, for what it means to be a pediatric oncology family, and knowing that we are not alone in this battle.  We share our stories when we have the energy and pick the moments and audience carefully. We have an understanding with one another, what it means to be that mom, dad, sister, brother, grandma, grandpa supporting these kids, our superheroes who show such resilience, spirit and fight. 

Island Kids Cancer Association was created to provide support, connection and outreach to those who have been affected by a childhood cancer diagnosis. Our Board consists mostly of pediatric oncology parents who have been there with their own kids and know first hand the struggles and basic needs that come with this difficult journey.  We also have critical Board members from our own amazing communities with important skill sets and perspective. Tania Downey, our Program Coordinator has been tireless in supporting families in so many ways and we are all truly grateful. Island Kids Cancer Association is here for all of you, and as we head into the fall / winter months, we will continue to reach out and let you know about opportunities to connect, and recoup if just for moments. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at any time.

 Thinking of all of you and on behalf of Island Kids Cancer Association, take care and be well.

 

With Gratitude,

Susan Kerr

Jacob’s Mom

Executive Director

Island Kids Cancer Association

 

 

Paddle for Health 2019

The Paddle for Health 2019 was a great success with over 120 paddlers taking part in this amazing event. From Willows Beach to Cadboro Gyro Park back to Willows Beach, paddlers took to the water to raise funds and awareness for our own Island Kids Cancer Association. A follow-up BBQ was held where awards and prizes were handed out. The Card Sharks paddle boarders were our highest fundraising team raising $4,300.00, Catherine MacKellar the highest fundraiser from the team raising $3,025.00 !

A sincerest thank you to Don Lowther and team from the Paddle for Health, the amazing volunteers, the many incredible sponsors and the fantastic Paddlers for this event. At this time, just over $22,000.00 has been raised and more is coming in!

McHappy Day

Island Kids Cancer Association was chosen as the local charity of choice along with Ronald McDonald House Charities as McHappy Day fund recipients for the following Victoria Branches: Sidney, Mt Newton, Royal Oak, Pandora, Douglas and Hillside. Sincerest thank you to Krawchuk Enterprises Inc. and all 6 of the McDonalds branch managers and staff, in particular Joey Quirante at the Mt. Newton location. Huge shout out to all of the volunteers for the day as well!  

One more example of an amazing community coming together for so many kids and families affected by a childhood cancer diagnosis.

National Nurses Week May 6-12, 2019

Island Kids Cancer Association honored our own pediatric oncology nurses at the Victoria General Hospital. Charity Vantine, Anne Carrelli and Sarah Fitton are a few of the nurses and part of the incredible team of specialists who dedicate their time and energy and who give so much tirelessly. We cannot put into words how much you mean to IKCA, our kids and families.  

KidsRun Victoria 2019

The 10th Annual Kids Run was a huge success! The weather couldn't have been better, and the community came together running and walking for kids and their families affected by a childhood cancer diagnosis on Vancouver Island.  We were all able to honor all of those kids still fighting and the angels we have lost, grateful for this important platform. Thank you to all of the volunteers who made this event possible: Mena Westhaver and Sole Sisters and the Saanich Firefighters Charitable Foundation, you are all amazing!

Touchstones "Kindred Hearts" Outdoor Health and Wellness Initiative

The first of 4 Sessions of The Island Kids Cancer Association's “Kindred Hearts” Programming was underway Saturday May 4th at Mary's Farm and Sanctuary. This is a great example of community collaboration with Children's Health Foundation, Island Kids Cancer Association, Human Nature Counselling and Mary's Farm and Sanctuary lending resources and expertise to give kids and families amazing opportunities.  Arts, crafts, games, team building and small animal time were just a few of the activities for the day. Not only do we look forward to consecutive sessions, but continued, collaborative relationships in support of families affected by a childhood cancer diagnosis.  Thank you to Children's Health Foundation who made our Touchstones Initiatives possible.  

Angel Network Retreat

Our Angel Network enjoyed a weekend retreat at Tigh Na Mara, with facilitation through Camp Kerry which brought insight on the grief process.   Moms and Dads on the same journey connected and remembered their children who have passed.  Thank you Island Kids Cancer Association, Camp Kerry and Tigh Na Mara for such a lovely, heartfelt weekend.  

Chester the Chest

Chester the Chest found his new home at the Pediatric Oncology Clinic at Victoria General Hospital. IKCA was able to purchase this training doll for the clinic. Chester the Chest with advanced arm is a teaching tool that the medical staff will use not only for the staff but for families and patients.

"Imagine" Ice Show

“Imagine” was a professionally produced ice show. Juan De Fuca Arena was transformed into an amazing setting that was fun for all ages! Imagine the British Rock invasion of the 1960s, under the sea or New York City - just some of the imaginative places they went. The show allowed your imagination to run wild.