From north to south, east to west, Albertans have one thing in common — a love for our province, our people and our communities. Known for our friendliness, diversity, resilience, generosity and good citizenship, Albertans have a lot to be proud of.
The Alberta Cancer Foundation’s inaugural Big Blue Sky Gala is an opportunity to celebrate all things Albertan — from music and art to sports and cuisine — while providing support to our friends, family and neighbours facing cancer through the Patient Financial Assistance Program (PFAP).
From its rich landscapes, golden grain fields and clear blue skies, Alberta is a beautiful place and the Foundation can’t wait to showcase all it has to offer and all we can accomplish, together.
“The Alberta Cancer Foundation represents the best of what’s available in Alberta for treatment, research and care for cancer patients, and we want to celebrate that,” says Melanie Dekker, director of Community Relations at the Alberta Cancer Foundation. “Our goal is to bring the community together in an intimate setting to support Albertans facing cancer.”
Scheduled to be held in Edmonton on Nov. 5 at the JW Marriott, and in Calgary on Nov. 19 at the Big Four Roadhouse, the gala will feature Olympic gold medal-winning figure skater and Calgary-native Jamie Salé as the emcee. Guests can look forward to live entertainment, including a surprise Albertan musical celebrity. Besides a menu highlighting regional and seasonal ingredients, the event will also include both a silent and live auction showcasing Alberta-based experiences and locally made products.
A worthy cause
The Patient Financial Assistance Program offers financial relief for cancer patients in Alberta who are undergoing active treatment. Funded by donor dollars, PFAP covers costs like housing, food, childcare, transportation and accommodation for patients receiving treatment outside of their hometowns. Last year, over 1,000 eligible patients accessed it.
“PFAP is a provincial program that hits every tumour group, it hits every community, and it’s relatable because people understand when there’s financial need,” Dekker says. “We want people to focus on their healing, versus trying to pay their bills, and alleviate any stress that might come with that.”
PFAP By the Numbers
The Alberta Cancer Foundation invested $1.1 million in the Patient Financial Assitance Program in 2019
PFAP is accessed annually by more than 1,000 patients across Alberta
$200 can help a patient who requires treatment away from home with expenses for one trip to a cancer centre
$500 can help a patient without insurance coverage pay for their medical prescriptions
$800 can support the family of a patient with their day-to-day expenses during treatment, such as care for their children while receiving treatment, rent or mortgage payment, groceries and bills.