Originally published by Comox Valley Record – April 13, 2019
YANA there every step of the way for Ashley and Remy
Although each YANA birth story is different, they are all the same in that the support never changes. The community is behind every birth, and any out-of-town follow up appointments or treatments required.
YANA (You Are Not Alone) is a community organization offering help to Comox Valley families who need to travel for medical services for their children. Our purpose is to improve access to healthcare by providing travel funding and accommodation. Regardless of the location, the names or the circumstances, YANA is there. The overwhelming gratitude expressed by the families is always the same. The relief of stress over finances and accommodations allows parents and caregivers the time and energy needed to help their babies grow and thrive in those crucial early days.
Here is Ashley’s story:
May 5, 2018 – After her doctor urges her to call YANA, Ashley makes her first call to advise of her high-risk pregnancy. Her baby is due June 10 and the ultrasound indicated a cleft palate, so she will need to deliver in Victoria. YANA immediately arranges for travel funding starting on May 27 and books two-to-three weeks of accommodation at Jeneece Place.
“Jeneece Place is always our first choice for accommodation in Victoria,” YANA executive director Kelly Barnie explains. “It is an amazing facility, funded by Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island. It’s a home away from home right on the grounds of Victoria General Hospital and is run by the most incredible team.”
May 30, 2018 – At 8 pounds even, Baby Remy is born at Victoria General!
June 8, 2018 – Remy is back at home after a whirlwind first week of life. Ashley connects with YANA to arrange a return trip to Victoria for the cleft palate clinic July 17. YANA provides travel funds for the required three-day trip and covers costs at Jeneece Place once again.
August 2, 2018 – Ashley contacts YANA to make arrangements Remy’s lip repair surgery trip September 24–27. Again, medical verification is received, funding is provided and the Jeneece Place reservation is made.
Oct 9, 2018 and Feb 12, 2019 – Travelling each time with Remy’s three-year-old big sister Olivia, and either their dad Takeshi or grandma Sandra, YANA provides Ashley and her family with travel funding and accommodations for two follow-up trips.
March 24 and April 9, 2019 – Remy has his pre-op appointment, major cleft palate surgery and post-op follow up visit. The surgery is a success and Remy is recovering well. YANA provides funding and the Jeneece Place staff welcome this much-loved family back with open arms.
YANA is there for Comox Valley families any time a child or a pregnant mother needs to travel for medical reasons. There are no questions asked. Only appointment verification is needed. Since his birth almost a year ago, Ashley and Remy have travelled to Victoria for his care seven times, spending 20 days away from home. They are hopeful that this most recent trip will be his last for a while, but know that YANA will support Remy whenever needed throughout his childhood.
Ashley cannot stress enough how important it is to have a place to ‘fall’ that will be able to catch and comfort you.
“That’s what YANA has been for us,” she explains. “From the beginning, I knew I didn’t have anything to worry about except Remy and his recovery from his surgeries. The care that YANA provided was seamless. Kelly was always compassionate and caring. The communications were always clear. I feel nothing but love and gratitude for YANA.”
For more information or to donate, visit yanacomoxvalley.com.
Another way to help YANA, and perhaps win big, is to purchase a Valley Vonka chocolate bar (or two) at participating dealers, while quantities last.
Contained within the packaging of five Valley Vonka chocolate bars are the coveted “golden tickets,” to be redeemed for some incredible prizes.
Valley Vonka chocolate bars are available at:
and of course the YANA office!