Choose Your Challenge for the 2024 Comox Bike Co YANA Ride

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The YANA Ride brings all ages, abilities and disciplines of riders together in one massive community-wide event raising funds to support YANA families.

Registration starts June 1, 2024, and participating is as easy as 1-2-3!

REGISTER – Registration is 100% by tax-receiptable donation, so your registration donation and the pledges you collect all count towards your personal and team fundraising goals.

RIDE & RAISE – Choose your Challenge tracking distance, time, number of trails, or number of communities you’ve ridden in, OR chart your very own course. Ride on Sunday, August 18th, or any day between August 1st to 18th collecting pledges along the way.

  • Distance Challenge YANA supported 200 children and pregnant mothers last year. 
    • Gather pledges for the 200kms you ride for this challenge. 
  • Time ChallengeYANA helped families with 400 medical trips last year. 
    • Gather pledges for the 400 minutes you ride for this challenge. 
  • Trail ChallengeYANA helps children tackle the toughest terrain of their medical journey. 
    • Gather pledges as you ride 3 off-road trails for this challenge. 
  • Communities Challenge –  YANA helps families from every Comox Valley community. 
    • Gather pledges as you ride in 3 communities for this challenge.
  • OR Chart Your Own Course riding and gathering pledges as you ride between Aug 1st-18th. Consider becoming a YANA Ambassador Rider to help promote YANA’s fundraising efforts by sharing your adventures.

REUNITE at the massive PARTY IN THE PARK on Sunday, August 18 from 11AM to 4PM at Comox Marina Park. Riders, families, friends, and YANA supporters far and wide are welcome!!

This is a party you won’t want to miss! Highlights include:

  • Finish line and congratulation stations
  • Sponsor donated prizes for every fundraising rider and the official 2024 Comox Bike Co. YANA Ride t-shirt for the top 200 fundraisers. 
  • Beer garden
  • Live music and entertainment
  • Activities for kids, and kids at heart
  • 50/50 raffle, Golf Ball Drop, giveaways and draws
  • Silent Auction loaded with bike gear and accessories
  • Your favourite Marina Park food trucks and seaside snacks
  • …..and MORE!

For more details and information on this year’s ride visit: https://www.yanacomoxvalley.com/yana-event/ride/

Comox Valley Gives Back

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Originally published by the Comox Valley Record, June 11, 2024.

Terry Farrell – Comox Valley Record

On May 4, a group of ladies held a YANA fundraiser dance at the Fallen Alders Hall . We raised $4,493 for YANA. We would like a big shout out thank you to: Thrifty Foods, Panago Pizza, Barb Mareck for her amazing artistry, and the band Rock Party.

Another successful year for Comox Valley’s 2024 YANA Valley Vonka contest

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We are incredibly grateful for the overwhelming support from the Comox Valley Record, Hot Chocolates, and Parker’s Appliances as they wrap up this annual Valley Vonka fundraiser! Thanks to their chocolaty-heart, we’re delighted to announce that YANA is the recipient of a jaw-dropping total of $17,949 from purchasing the Valley Vonka chocolate bars featuring Olive the Orca.

To everyone who made and purchased the chocolate bars, the families who shared their stories, and the kids who participated in the coloring contest and supported this fundraiser in any way, THANK YOU for helping make this fundraiser so successful! Your support ensures that local families facing out of town medical challenges know they are not alone.

https://www.comoxvalleyrecord.com/local-news/another-successful-year-for-comox-valleys-2024-yana-valley-vonka-contest-7350213

100 days in Victoria for Comox Valley family – YANA was there the entire way

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Originally published by the Comox Valley Record, March 27, 2024

Terry Farrell – Comox Valley Record

It was week 23 when Joseph Jones and Emily Johnston first found out there were complications with Emily’s pregnancy. Emily was diagnosed with placental dysfunction.

“Basically, her blood pressure was too high and it was calcifying the placenta, so the blood was not getting through it to give any nutrients,” said Joseph. “Week 23 we found out and we were in the hospital by the beginning of week 24.”

Bromley Johnston-Jones was born on April 3, 2023, at week 28, weighing only 694 grams.

“He was the youngest baby born that year,” said Joseph. “One and a half pounds.”

The parents shared different emotions once Bromley was born.

“I felt affirmation, in making the correct choices that we made, to help him have the best options,” said Emily. “But honestly I kind of compartmentalized my feelings and emotions because our condition was so critical. So I really had to focus all my energy on him. So I didn’t have a lot of feelings at the time.”

Joseph felt enough happiness for the whole family.

“I was just overjoyed, to be honest with you,” he said. “From the very beginning, when they said this was happening, I just knew he was going to be just fine. I just had it in my mind from the second they told us. I truly believed nothing was going to be wrong with him; he is going to be just fine. When he came out, yeah he was tiny, but he was just fine. There was nothing wrong with him, other than being a bit small.”

Eight months later, Bromley, Joseph and Emily celebrated their first Christmas together, and Bromley has all the energy and awareness of a typical eight-month-old.

And YANA has been with the family every step of the way.

YANA (You Are Not Alone) is a community organization offering help to Comox Valley families who need to travel for medical treatment for a child or for a pregnant mother. Its purpose is to improve access to healthcare by providing travel funding and accommodation.

“They reached out to us almost immediately – YANA was just great,” said Joseph. “They found out we needed to stay in Victoria for possibly four months and before we even knew it they had a place for us, they had it all scheduled, rented, money in our bank for food, gas, everything. We couldn’t have done it without them. They did so much.”

“We found out on Friday that we were going to the hospital on Monday, and YANA had already contacted us and everything and were setting up (accommodations),” added Emily.

The family was in Victoria for more than 100 days. With both Joseph and Emily being self-employed, that’s a quick stop to incoming funds, for an extended period. But as Emily pointed out, ‘providing for the family comes in many forms.

“By Joseph being able to be there and help us with all the decisions, he was providing for us,” she said. “Even though he wasn’t working, he was providing for the family with his emotional support.”

Joseph said even the emotional support of knowing they weren’t on their own meant the world.

“Just knowing someone was in our corner, and there to help – it took so much stress away. Not having to find a place to live… it was all just amazing,” said Joseph. “They (YANA) were just saying ‘don’t worry about how long this takes; we are in your corner.’”

As Bromnley approaches his first birthday, Joseph said he’s a typical baby.

“He’s a little small, but everything is perfectly fine. All his organs are fine. His eyesight, his lungs, his brain. His body is at below three per cent so he is still pretty small but his head is at 48 per cent, so he has a huge noggin – a big brain.”

The family still receives help from YANA – last week they had to travel to Victoria for a check-up. YANA helped them with the finances.

The family has also given back to YANA in. various ways.

“We had a dance fundraiser when we got back and donated everything to YANA,” said Joseph. “They are such an important part of our community. It’s a great organization and it is really needed.”

***

The Valley Vonka – a major fundraiser for YANA, is ongoing in the Comox Valley. Businesses throughout the community are selling chocolate bars (by donation) with the chance to find one of six Golden Tickets inside the bar. A Golden Ticket qualifies the redeemer to one of six grand prizes, values anywhere from $1,000 to $3,500.

Chocolate bars are available at:

• Hyland Precast (4552 Cumberland Road, Cumberland)

• Pilon Tools (123 N Island Hwy., Courtenay)

• Margot Rutherford (981 Fitzgerald Ave., Courtenay)

• Mackenzie Gartside (525 Cliffe Ave., Downtown Courtenay)

• Bennett Sheet Metal (741 McPhee Ave., Courtenay)

• Hot Chocolates (368 5th St., Courtenay)

• Peninsula Co-op (Aspen Rodd, Comox)

• Uptown Dental Centre (Comox Mall)

• Harbourview Dental Centre – Comox Ave.

• Arbor Dental Centre (Comox Ave., Comox)

• Pharmasave (Aspen Grove Centre, Comox)

• CSN Reliable (787 Cumberland Rd., Courtenay)

• Bomback & Co (1255 C Cliffe Ave., Courtenay)

• The Flying Apron (Strathcona Plaza, Comox)

• Quality Foods (Comox and Courtenay locations)

• Canadian Tire (Driftwood Mall, Courtenay)

• Old House Hotel & Spa – (17th street, Courtenay)

• Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa – (five minutes south of Royston)

• Blinds & Bubbles Boutique (located in Central Builders)

• Brian Mclean Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Hummer Ltd. (Cliffe Ave., Courtenay)

ª Parker Appliances and More – (29th Street connector, Courtenay)

YANA (You Are Not Alone) is a not-for-profit organization in the Comox Valley that helps families who need to travel for medical treatment for their children or a pregnant mother.

A lifeline for the Loewen-Sanchez family in high-risk pregnancy journey

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Originally published by the Comox Valley Record, March 20, 2024

Erin Haluschak – Comox Valley Record

Reya Loewen-Sanchez’s entry into the world was anything but ordinary. 

Her mother faced a high-risk pregnancy due to pre-eclampsia and placenta previa, conditions that posed significant risks to both her and the baby. For 61 days, the family – including dad Jordan Sanchez – found refuge with YANA’s help, receiving crucial support. 

“We ended up in the emergency with the possibility that we could lose the baby. My wife was helicoptered out to Victoria where they have a NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) and lived in the hospital for a while.” 

Jordan added YANA came to their side immediately and assisted the family in a variety of ways. It provided funds for travel as he had to drive to Victoria, take time away from work and living expenses while away from home.

“We ended up at the wonderful Jeneece Place (a home away from home where children and their families can stay while receiving medical care in Victoria) and YANA funded the stay. They covered cost of living away from home, being away from work and the cost of living there – it made a massive difference in our lives.” 

Jordan’s wife was in hospital and gave birth on Nov. 23, 2023 at 37 weeks to a healthy baby girl, and didn’t have to use the hospital’s NICU.

“I believe it’s because so much of the financial and emotional street was taken away from the entire experience (thanks to YANA) and it gave us such a wonderful start.” 

While YANA provides accommodation and support for families who need to travel outside their community for medical treatment for their children, it also offers emotional support and resources to help families cope with the challenges they face during their medical journeys. 

Overall, YANA’s mission is to ensure that families feel supported and cared for during difficult times, allowing them to focus on their child’s health and well-being. 

The Loewen-Sanchez family has since returned home to the Comox Valley. As a teacher, Jordan explained he was previously aware of YANA as some of his students had volunteered with the organization, but admitted he wasn’t aware of the level that the organization steps up for families. 

“They are so integral in our community. They made the biggest difference in our quality of life.”

YANA (You Are Not Alone) is a not-for-profit organization in the Comox Valley that helps families who need to travel for medical treatment for their children or a pregnant mother.

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