Katrin’s Karepackage (KK) is an initiative to raise funds and awareness for the Canadian Cancer Society for Newfoundland and Nova Scotian residents struggling to access cancer treatment and appointments.
Newfoundland: In Newfoundland, the only place to get radiation cancer treatment is in St. John’s. However, in order to receive funding from the Newfoundland government, patients must pay for the first 1,500km of travel in a 12-month period. Once eligible, the province reimburses a fraction of travel costs (20 cents per kilometre). As such, treatment is inaccessible for many low-income patients and patients living in rural communities outside of St. John’s.
Nova Scotia: In Nova Scotia, many cancer patients from across the province must regularly travel into Halifax for cancer-related appointments. Currently, Nova Scotians must make a gross family income of less than $25,500, close to the poverty line for a family of two. Similar to Newfoundland, this makes treatment inaccessible for individuals living outside of Halifax.
Inspired by Maike van Niekerk’s mother, who died of breast cancer, Maike wanted to change this inaccessibility by starting a tax-deductible charitable program to help pay for the travel costs of cancer patients in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. The goal of this program is to not only raise donations for transportation costs, but also improve awareness of the issue. In 2014 Maike kick-started Katrin’s Karepackage by biking across the island (1,100 km over 10 days) and in 2015 ran 7 consecutive marathons in 7 days across the province. Both initiatives symbolized cancer patients’ long journey to access treatment, raising nearly $60,000.
Eligibility: To apply for funding from Katrin’s Karepackage, applicants must meet two criteria:
- Must live a minimum of 50 km outside of St. John’s (Newfoundland applicants) or 50 km outside of Halifax (Nova Scotian applicants)
- Be undergoing active cancer treatment which includes radiation therapy, chemotherapy, specialist appointments related to cancer (destroy, dermatology), surgery related to cancer, follow-up appointments with oncologists and diagnostic appointments.
Application: To apply for funding, please call your local Canadian Cancer Society division,
- Provincial/ Eastern District: 1-888-753-6520 or 1-709-753-6520
- Central Region Office: 1-866-545-9534 or 1-709-489-5822
- Western Region Office: 1-866-545-9533 or 1-709-634-6542
- 1-800-639-0222 or 902-423-6183