Each month, 15-year-old Evan and his mother Corinne climb aboard Hope Air in order to fly to BC Children’s Hospital where Evan undergoes an IV treatment for Crohn’s disease, a chronic illness that for a time, robbed some of the normalcy of childhood like birthday parties, sleepovers, even school.
The monthly trips to receive treatment have been life-changing for Evan’s health, and have been made much more accessible because of YANA’s support over the last five years.
Corinne and her son Evan moved to the Island with their family in 2015, a year after Evan’s diagnosis and many exhausting and expensive trips to BC Children’s from the remote community they were living in.
“When your child is first diagnosed with an illness, you are primarily worried about the child and keeping your family together,” said Corinne. “I chose to move our family from a small isolated community with limited resources to the Comox Valley to be closer to Evan’s doctor, pediatrician, and BC Children’s Hospital.”
Shortly after the family arrived in the Comox Valley they were introduced to YANA, and immediately felt the support of the community.
“Once we connected with YANA, there was relief knowing there are other families going through similar experiences. YANA is a community within a community. With YANA’s support, I knew I was not in this alone.”
Trips to Vancouver are not only a financial burden on families, but can be incredibly taxing on a child as sick as Evan was. Corinne explained that at times, Evan wasn’t physically capable of taking the sky train back to the airport after a treatment. The relief she felt to be able to use YANA funds to call a taxi allowed Corinne to focus on Evan and his health without worrying over travel costs.
The family not only sings the praises for the assistance they’ve received from YANA, but have been involved in various YANA fundraisers over the years. Corinne’s brother-in-law Corey, just cycled a whopping 300 kilometres for this year’s hugely successful YANA Ride, raising donations to give back to an organization that has given so much to his nephew.
Evan and his family are celebrating some big news. At his most recent treatment appointment, they found out Evan is officially in remission and the relief is huge. He will still require monthly treatments to stay in remission, and YANA will continue to walk by their side and provide help every step of the way.
“It takes a community to raise a child,” says Corinne. “We feel honoured to be a part of the YANA family, and could not do this journey without them.”
YANA (You Are Not Alone) is a local charity offering help to Comox Valley families who need to travel for medical treatment for a child or for a pregnant mother. YANA improves access to healthcare by providing travel funding and accommodation for families of babies to teens, and all ages in between.
For more information, visit yanacomxovalley.com
The annual Valley Vonka fundraiser in support of YANA is now in full swing.
Chocolate bars are available for purchase (by donation), with “Golden Tickets” randomly inserted inside five Valley Vonka chocolate bars.
Finding a Golden Ticket gives you a chance at one of five great grand prize packages, from Mount Washington Alpine Resort; The Old House Hotel & Spa; Kingfisher Oceanside Resort; Canadian Tire; and Peninsula Co-op.
Chocolate bars are available at:
• Comox Valley Record office
• Ashley Furniture Homestore
• Old House Hotel, OhSpa, Locals Restaurant
• Mount Washington Alpine Resort
• Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa
• Peninsula Co-op (Aspen Location)
• Canadian Tire
• Hot Chocolates
• Sure Copy
• Bomback & Co.
• Blinds and Bubbles Boutique
• Living Room Pharmacy
• Margot Rutherford Notary
• Mackenzie Gartside
• Pilon Tools