Resources for Families
Compiled by Nelson and Area Friends of the Family Foundation
BC Family Residence Program
Connecting children and families with medical care at BC Children's Hospital or Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children. This organization will book and pay for accommodation at Easter Seal House, Ronald McDonald House or hotels. Phone number reaches one of two receptionists. If they are busy, a confidential voice-mail will take message and they will respond quickly.
BC Ministry of Children and Family Development “At Home” Program
Assists parents with some of the extraordinary costs of caring for a child with severe disabilities at home through a range of health supports and services. It provides assistance in two main areas: Respite Benefits and Medical Benefits.
For information about eligibility and Respite benefits contact Nelson Area At Home Program Contact: Moira McLeod 250-354-6465 direct, switchboard: 250-354-6623 or the Ministry’s Client Relations Branch at 1 877 387-7027 (toll-free).
For more information about At Home Program Medical Benefits, call:
Toll-free: 1 888 613-3232
Ronald McDonald House
For families with children’s appointments at BC Children’s Hospital or Sunny Hill Health Centre. (Note: Costs may be covered by the BC Family Residence Program, so is preferable to call them first, see listing above.)
Location: 4567 Heather Street, Vancouver.
Easter Seals House (Vancouver)
Since 1955, the BC Lions Society has provided a "home away from home" for families visiting Vancouver to obtain medical treatment. (Treatment not restricted to BC Children’s Hospital or Sunny Hill Health Centre as under the BC Family Residence Program)
Location: 3981 Oak Street, Vancouver BC, V6H4H5
Reservations can be made by phone only. 1-800-818-3666
Hotels Offering Discounted Rates an online list, by location, of hotels in BC that provide discounts for medical stays: csa.pss.gov.bc.ca/medicaltravel
Where to Stay Vancouver/Richmond area:
www.bcchildrens.ca/our-services/your-visit/planning-your-visit - Click on the “Where to Stay” tab.
Hope Air: 1-877-346-HOPE (4673)
Provides flights (for one parent and child) for children requiring scheduled medical treatment www.hopeair.ca.
Use the link on homepage to "Request a Flight".
Travel Assistance Program (TAP)
Airline/ferries discount for medical travel to specialist physician referred, non-emergency.
1-800-661-2668 reaches the automated travel request system, and you must have your Travel Assistance Form filled out BEFORE you call. Your doctor should give you the form. Basic information can be reached by listening to Option 1 on their automated phone system. No option to reach a live operator.
Freemason Driver Program
In conjunction with the Canadian Cancer Society, offers free driving service for cancer patients to and from airport/ferry/bus depot (must book 24 hrs. in advance). Canadian Cancer Society (Vancouver branch 1-800-663-2524)
Can transport a maximum of two persons. Persons with mobility issues must have escort.
Greater Vancouver: 1-604-872-2034 (Freemason Driver Program)
Kelowna: 1-800-299-0188 (Freemason Driver Program)
Pacific Coach Lines
Provides reduced-fare transportation from Victoria to Vancouver and return for cancer treatment through the TAP program (see above). Both the child and accompanying parent should be awarded the discounted fare. Valid only until December 2015. Another bus service, Wilson’s, will be taking over the cross-water contract as of January 2016.
1-800-661-1725 reaches the PCL reservation centre.
Health Connections - Regional Transit Service
Slocan to Nelson Hospital or Trail Hospital: 1-877-843-2877
Kaslo to Nelson Hospital or Trail Hospital: 1-877-843-2877
TransLink SkyTrain (Public Transit) is available to reach to Ronald Macdonald House or Easter Seals House in Vancouver from Vancouver International AIRPORT. Canada Line (Waterfront direction) to King Edward Station (7 stops). Then taxi ride from there (~8 minutes) to RMH. Bit closer to Easter Seals House (~4 min taxi).
Variety, The Children’s Charity
This charity supports BC families with children who have special needs. Individual applications directly to this charity is required.
Canadian Cancer Society
The Canadian Cancer Society provides limited, short-term financial assistance to cover a portion of clients’ cancer-related transportation and accommodation expenses. In addition, through their partnership with the BC Cancer Agency, they can assist clients with a portion of the cost of selected prescription medications that manage symptoms related to cancer treatment. The funding program is managed out of the Cranbrook office.
Phone: 250-426-8916 or 1-800-656-6426
Cops for Kids
This foundation provides grants to families whose children suffer from trauma, illness or disabilities for expenses related to medical treatments and/or funds to purchase specialized equipment (other needs may also be considered). Families must reside in the BC RCMP Southeast District jurisdiction. Visit website
"Trust for Kids" - An organization assisting families who need to travel due to medical reasons.
Contact Dave Boland 250-353-2500 or email: superdavekaslo[at]yahoo.ca.
"Gordy Steep Foundation" - Trail & area program assisting families financially who need to travel due to medical reasons. Contact Debbie O’Genski 250-364-3424 or Lisa Pasin 250-364-3495 or email: lisa.pasin[at]interiorhealth.ca. Possible one-time $500 grant for Trail & area families.
Getting organized at home