During these unprecedented times, the well-being of Albertans is our number one priority. We continue to work closely with our partners at Alberta Health Services and are taking important steps to ensure you and our community stay protected.
As the effect of this global pandemic continues to evolve for Albertans, the needs of cancer patients province-wide continue to increase.
Although we can’t predict how the coming months will unfold, we want to ensure that we are ready to help support in the most needed way. We remain focused on our singular cause—helping Albertans facing cancer.
Albertans Helping Albertans Fund
The best way to deliver the biggest impact is through our Albertans Helping Albertans Fund. All types of cancer, all across the province, during this pandemic and beyond. Gifts to the Albertans Helping Albertans Fund allow us to be flexible and adapt as priorities are identified, like the recently launched Text4Hope Campaign or the recently announced new biorepository in Alberta that will allow for the long-term preservation of positive COVID-19 samples in the province. This biobank enables Alberta’s world-class researchers local access to the biological material they need to further study the virus. Alberta Cancer Foundation and its donors have seen the important part biorepositories have played here in Alberta to help advance cancer research. For example, the Alberta Cancer Research Biorepository and Tumour Bank, funded in part by the generosity of foundation donors.
Albertans helping Albertans. It’s that simple. Your gift provides help where it is needed the most.
Through our partnership with Alberta Health Services, we are uniquely positioned to accelerate breakthroughs and bring results to patients at the cancer centres faster. During the pandemic, Albertans have been struggling. Some with sudden job loss and financial strain in addition to a diagnosis of cancer. Supporting the centres during this time, opens up the Emergency Voucher Program to even more Albertans in response to a time of high need. Everything we do, we do with patients in mind. In hopes of easing their experience, we also provide blanket warmers, comfortable chemo chairs, and enhanced waiting room spaces. As well, in several centres, thanks to the generosity of donors, clinical trials are giving Albertans access to novel therapies years before they are available to the general public. In addition, supporting Alberta’s cancer centres helps to provide them with leading-edge equipment, like the world’s first Linac-MR at the Cross Cancer Institute, allowing patients access to improved and more accurate treatment than ever before.
Cancer can be an overwhelming strain financially with unanticipated costs mounting upward of $20,000. At times, the costs can be so devastating that some patients will decide against having life-saving therapy and instead choose a less effective treatment as they cannot afford the out-of-pocket expenses. Examples of support can include rent or mortgage, groceries, out of pocket medications not covered by insurance, utilities, and accommodation for those traveling out of their home town or city for long term treatment like bone marrow transplant. Patients and families who qualify for Alberta Cancer Foundation’s Patient Financial Assistance Program are able to receive support during their treatment so they can focus on what matters most – healing.
The need for this program has been increasing by ten per cent each year, surpassing $1.2M last year and projected to continue increasing throughout the pandemic and beyond.
Patient Navigator Program
A cancer diagnosis is overwhelming. Thanks to you, Patient Navigators in rural Alberta can help guide cancer patients through the complex health system sometimes including planning for visits at the urban centres in Edmonton and Calgary. Navigators are registered nurses with specialized training in cancer care to easily explain treatment choices and test results, and assist with the physical, practical and emotional challenges that come with a cancer diagnosis.
The Alberta Cancer Foundation is also committed to a provincial Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Patient Navigator Program. Each year in Alberta, nearly 300 new cases of cancer are diagnosed in adolescent and young adults, aged 15-29 (AYAs). The AYA Patient Navigator program specializes in supporting this group as they navigate their cancer journey both inside and outside the health-care system and works to enhance overall patient care by ensuring that their distinctive needs are supported from diagnosis to survivorship or in some cases palliative care.
In southern Alberta, the new Indigenous Cancer Patient Navigator (ICPN) position created by Alberta Health Services in April 2019 is funded thanks to Alberta Cancer Foundation donors. This scope of care includes patients south of Red Deer to the American border and everything in between. We are proud to serve Albertans no matter where they live in the province and are grateful for the generosity of donors.
A tool supporting mental health and wellness during a time of stress and isolation
An Alberta-based innovation, Text4Hope is a new Alberta Health Services program launched during the COVID-19 pandemic with a set of daily messages for three months. People will receive advice and encouragement written by mental health therapists with helpful tips to develop healthy personal coping skills and resiliency during this unprecedented time of isolation and fear.
Text “COVID19HOPE” to 393939 to subscribe
Alberta Cancer Foundation is proud to have partnered with our friends at The Mental Health Foundation, Calgary Health Trust, the University Hospital Foundation, the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation and the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation to support this important initiative.
Text4Hope-Addiction Support and Text4Hope-Cancer Care are expanded areas of the Text4Hope program specifically targeted to those experiencing psychological concerns related to addiction or cancer issues.
To subscribe to the cancer program text “CancerCare” to 393939
To subscribe to the addiction program text “Open2Change” to 393939
If you are a patient or family member looking for resource information, click here.
If you are inquiring about the Patient Financial Assistance Program, please contact the Alberta Health Services social worker or Patient Navigator you have been working with.
For patient appointment inquiries, contact your cancer centre directly.
If you are a new or previous organizer looking to host an event or initiative in support of the Foundation, there are many fun and creative virtual fundraisers. Click here for some ideas to get you started, or connect with a Community Relations Development Officer – they are happy to help you achieve your goals!
To help you keep up-to-date with the latest COVID-19 guidelines for events in Alberta, please visit www.ahs.ca/events and the Alberta Government’s Guidance Documents.
Please note that contact tracing for event attendees is the responsibility of the event organizer and AHS will require you to follow up with attendees if there is known contact at your event.
Thank you. Because of you, cancer patients in Alberta can focus on what matters most – healing. Together we can make a difference.
In the second week of March we relocated our staff out of the cancer centres to reduce any risk for patients and family members walking through those doors. To help prevent spread in the community and to protect our own teams, we have asked our staff to work remotely as of Tuesday, March 17. We will keep very few essential staff at our offices–most of the work will be done virtually. While we hope this transition will be as seamless as possible, it may take some time receive your receipt or other information or for some of us to return a call, but we promise we will.
We are still here to serve you and provide a number of flexible ways to connect with us.
At this time, our preference is to be contacted by email at email@example.com
Continue to call our provincial number 1-866-412-4222 or call your contact at the Foundation. Email is still a very viable option and you can also continue to donate online.
Please know we are thinking about you and your loved ones as we all navigate the effects of the pandemic and appreciate the role we get to play in your lives. This is an organization of Albertans helping Albertans and right now, that’s even more important than ever.
Stay tuned to this page and our social media channels for updates.