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Program helps cover fuel costs for families traveling for their children’s medical care

SAINT JOHN, New Brunswick -- Now in its 11th year, Irving Oil’s Fuel the Care program has served more than 40,000 families from across Atlantic Canada and New England. The program provides fuel cards to families with a child facing critical health care challenges.

“We had to travel every two to three weeks to visit specialists, and put a plan in place to save our son’s life before he was even born,” said Kelly Willington, whose son was born with a rare genetic disorder called Edwards Syndrome. “We were at the IWK Health Centre a lot, which meant traveling from Moncton. As a single-income family with three other kids, we were concerned about the cost of fuel; Fuel the Care has meant so much to us, and not only helped relieve some of the financial burden, but also helped us during a stressful and uncertain time in our lives.”

Social workers at the IWK Health Centre, and other partner hospitals in Atlantic Canada and New England, work directly with patient families to help assess their needs and access Fuel the Care.

“We see first-hand the impact this program has on families experiencing tremendous stress and worry,” said Heather Prosser, a social worker at the Prenatal Special Care Unit at the IWK Health Centre. “It makes our role a little easier to be able to offer assistance to families in need, so they can focus on what’s most important—being together and helping their children.”

Fuel the Care program partner hospitals in Atlantic Canada and New England include: the Saint John Regional Hospital in Saint John, New Brunswick; the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia; the Janeway Child Health and Rehabilitation Centre in St. John' s, Newfoundland and Labrador; Eastern Maine Healthcare Network in Maine; and the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (CHaD) in New Hampshire.

“It’s hard to imagine anything more worrying than having a sick child in the hospital, and it’s a privilege to be able to provide a degree of support to families in this situation,” said Paul Browning, president and CEO of Irving Oil. “We are deeply committed to Fuel the Care, which helps remove at least one small worry for families who have more important matters to focus on.”



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