You Are Not Alone (YANA) is a local non-profit society that provides accommodation and funding to Comox Valley families who need to travel outside the community for medical treatment for a child under 19 or for a pregnant mother.
YANA was founded in 1986 by Sandra Williams after her family experienced the financial and emotional devastation of having a very sick child who required treatment at Children’s Hospital for many months in Vancouver. YANA continues to ensure that families in the Comox Valley are not alone when dealing with medical issues for their children and believes that when a child is ill the whole family requires care. YANA provides financial support so families can stay focused on the health and wellness of their child.
YANA maintains four fully furnished apartments within walking distance of Children’s Hospital and also assists with finding and funding accommodation in alternate treatment destinations. In addition to providing accommodation, YANA provides a daily, weekly or monthly allotment of funds to help with costs of travel, food, parking and unexpected expenses. YANA also provides St. Joseph’s Hospital with funds to make available to Comox Valley families who have a child or an expecting mother who requires emergency transfer to another hospital. To access services, YANA ensures a simple, confidential and supportive process that starts with a phone call, an email or a visit to the office.
Listen to what this YANA parent has to say and read more about how YANA eases the burden here.
“My undying gratitude and love goes to YANA for supporting our son and our family as we battle brain cancer in Vancouver. With your help, my wife and I can be here 100% for our son, and for that alone we can’t thank everyone enough. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”
– Mark Yule
In order to continue to support families, YANA needs to raise approximately $250,000 a year. Almost all of YANA’s annual funds are raised within the Comox Valley through the generosity of community members who want to reach out to support local families in their time of need.
From individuals, to larger organizations, YANA is held in the hearts of many and has supported over 1,000 families since 1986. Volunteers have been the driving force of most of the initiatives for YANA over the years. Funds are generated from donations, YANA events and third-party fundraisers. Some of YANA’s annual fundraisers include the Big Love Benefit, the YANA Ride and the Christmas Cracker campaign. In addition, there are many other efforts taking place within the community that benefit YANA.
The slideshow below was put together by Karen McKinnon for YANA’s 25th anniversary. The photos share the stories of several children supported by YANA on their journeys of treatment and recovery.