Our journey with YANA began over 11 years ago. At that time, we had a very healthy 5 year old son and I was almost 9 months pregnant. Our son Nathan got sick with what doctors thought was the flu. After 3 days, Nathan went unconscious and remained so for 7 days. During this time, we were in Nanaimo for a few days getting a bunch of tests done and after 2 days, Nathan was air-lifted to Children’s Hospital.

My husband, Nathan and I were in a room at the hospital in isolation and we were scared as Nathan was still unconscious. We were sitting there and we were surprised to hear the phone ring. It was a social worker who was connecting us to YANA as a result of someone calling the Hospital about us. We had never heard of YANA until that very moment.

It took 11 years and many frequent trips back to Vancouver for Nathan to receive a diagnosis for an extremely rare autoimmune disease. YANA has been with us since the start and has helped with everything. The emotional and financial support has been absolutely huge. If I am having a bad day, I always feel like I have someone to talk to.

We currently return to Vancouver every 4 weeks for treatment for Nathan. These trips can be tough but without YANA, they would be even tougher. We try our best to keep these trips positive and make it more than about how sick Nathan is. With the support we receive, this becomes possible for us. I am amazed at how positive Nathan is – he never complains and keeps such a wise perspective despite this illness. We are both so grateful for YANA.