Newfoundland: In Newfoundland, the only place to get radiation cancer treatment is in St. John’s. However, the province only reimburses a fraction of travel costs, making treatment inaccessible for many low-income patients living 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’s mother, who died of breast cancer, Maike wants to change this inaccessibility by starting a fund to help pay for travel costs for cancer patients. The goal of this program is to not only raise donations for the transportation costs, but also improve awareness of the issue. In June of 2014 Maike kick-started Katrin’s Karepackage by biking across the island, (about 1,040 km over 11 days) to symbolize cancer patients’ long journey to access treatment, raising nearly $35,000. For more information on the important issue of cancer and the resource currently available, please see The Canadian Cancer Society website. Follow Maike’s blog for information on upcoming fundraisers and projects.