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our history

In 1986 when Christine McIver’s son Derek was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour, there were very few programs in the province designed to help children and families navigate a frightening diagnosis of childhood cancer. There were no Alberta cancer camps at the time, so Christine registered Derek in a B.C. camp. Seeing the smile on his face and the laughter in his eyes when he returned home strengthened her resolve to build an Alberta Cancer Camp.


Christine wanted her son Derek to have a chance to be a kid again and she wanted to ensure other parents like her would not be alone in their battle with childhood cancer. Working as a volunteer out of her basement in the late 80s, Christine and a group of dedicated parents and volunteers set to work to build a support system for children and families facing childhood cancer. In 1991, this group established the first cancer camps in Alberta under the auspices of the Canadian Cancer Society. In 1994, Christine founded the Kids Cancer Camps of Alberta, an organization dedicated solely to helping children with cancer and their families. Internationally recognized for the quality and diversity of programming, these life-affirming camps were uniquely designed to meet the needs of the whole family at each stage in the cancer journey—from diagnosis through treatment, and even bereavement.


Buoyed by the success of the camps, the volunteers and staff of Kids Cancer Camps knew it was time to begin addressing the full spectrum of childhood cancer. In 1999, the Foundation expanded its mandate to include funding of childhood cancer research and clinical support programs. In 2008, the Foundation established the first scholarship fund in Alberta for cancer patients and survivors. Today, the Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta is one of the largest childhood cancer research funders in the country. The Foundation now offers more than 20 year-round and summer Camp & Community programs to Alberta families. KCCFA is one of only a handful of charities in North America dedicated to supporting the entire continuum of childhood cancer, fighting the disease on all fronts—with laughter at camp, the best treatments at the hospital and with innovative science in the lab and with brighter futures through post-secondary scholarships.



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