Founder and Chief Executive Officer
I am the luckiest person in the world. I am passionate about my job and I am able to make everyday a testament to my son’s memory, while helping other parents and kids affected by cancer.
I fill my days with policy, process and financial oversight while being the cheerleader of our staff, volunteers and donors and encouraging them to dream big! I dream of a day where childhood cancer is a memory.
I embrace change, love the busy, dynamic pace of our office and lead the best team of staff any CEO would be proud of. I work for the Board, the kids and everyone who volunteers, donates or sponsors Kids Cancer Care. YOU are the reason I get up in the morning. I am rewarded every day in smiles, stories and the joy that fulfilling our mission brings.
- What’s your camp name? Crazy Bear.
- What’s your favorite ice cream topping? Gummy Bears.
- Best read?The Lovely Bones or whatever is on my bedside table.
Chief Financial Officer
As Chief Financial Officer, I support financial and administrative functions to ensure the highest level of integrity, efficiency, and accountability. We are honoured by the support of many donors and volunteers who make it possible for us to walk with kids and families through their challenges and successes.
It is a privilege to play a role in supporting these courageous kids through scholarships, research, outreach programs and of course, the incredible Camp Kindle!
I love working here because it's inspiring to be part of the amazing Kids Cancer Care team! I am surrounded by passionate people dedicated to supporting kids and families affected by cancer. The energy and enthusiasm that we bring to our work makes it a very fulfilling place to be!
When I was a university student, I'd always thought it would be wonderful to work at a summer camp as fulltime gig. When I started at Kids Cancer Care in December 2018 as volunteer coordinator and learned that I would be coordinating volunteers for summer camp, it was a dream come true.
My career path took me in different directions before eventually bringing me to Kids Cancer Care. I taught English abroad and in Calgary, worked as a flight attendant and in volunteer management. Working with Kids Cancer Care volunteers has truly been an honour and an amazing experience.
Now, I am stepping into a new role as development associate on the revenue development team. I am excited to transfer my skills to event coordination and fundraising, while looking forward to learning lots of new skills. Being part of the Kids Cancer Care team is amazing.
- What is my camp name? Chinook.
- What is my spirit animal?The hummingbird.
- What is my favourite meal?Sushi and bubble tea.
Information Systems and Database Specialist
I have been involved with Kids Cancer Care since 2009, first as a family, then as a volunteer, now as an employee. I truly am living my dream by working at Kids Cancer Care. I love my position as information systems and database specialist. I get to deal with both tech and gifting, which is a great balance.
Our only child Alexander was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour in 2009. After ten months of treatment, he passed away. He was two.
Alexander was the 36th child in the wolrd to be diagnosed with ETMR (embryonal tumour with multilayered rosettes). We donated his brain and tumour to what is now the Kids Cancer Care Biostorage at the University of Calgary. Overseen by Dr. Jennifer Chan, the Kids Cancer Care Chair in Pediatric Oncology Research, this facility provides researchers across the globe with live blood, tissue and cancer cell samples.Thanks to Alexander's gift, U of C researchers were able to create the world's first cell line for ETMR, enabling researchers around the world to study this rare cancer for the first time.
I believe Alexander was brought here to help other children through his cell line and to give me my life purpose. For 26 years I worked as an aircraft maintenance engineer, but now my purpose is to help kids with cancer.
- Why is your hair blue? Blue was Alexander’s favourite colour. My hair has been blue since 2010.
- What is your camp name? Blue.
- What is your favourite travel destination?The Westside of Oahu (Waianae Coast). This is where Alexander had his wish trip and where put his ashes.
Carolina Chamorro Vina
PEER Program Coordinator
I am the coordinator of the Pediatric cancer patients and survivors Engaging in Exercise for Recovery (PEER) program. Along with some great volunteers that come from kinesiology, nursing, public health and medical school backgrounds, I supervise this wonderful exercise program for kids and teens affected by cancer. Our program provides kids the opportunity to exercise while having fun in a safe environment.
The best part of my work is the fact that we give the kids the capacity to be kids again. Every smile, every motor, fitness or social improvement that I observe in the kids are invaluable treasures that I preserve.
In Spain, back in 2004, I started to research the effects of exercise in children with cancer. We did a 16 week exercise program with kids on treatment. At the end of the program, the kids were interviewed. A journalist asked a seven-year-old boy what he enjoyed most about the exercise program. He replied “Now I can play with my sister without getting tired.” In that moment, I was the happiest person in the world. Exercise is a great way to counteract the side effects of treatment, improve quality of life and facilitate the reintegration of kids affected by cancer in the community. My dream is to see exercise become part of the standard care in every child with cancer.
I love working for Kids Cancer Care because everyone shares a passion to advocate for improving the quality of life of children affected by cancer and their families. It is an inspiring team to be a part of.
- Where is your hometown? Montevideo, Uruguay.
- What’s your favorite ice cream topping?Dulce de Leche with chocolate chips and lemon.
- What is your favourite meal? Empanadas.
Child Life Specialist
I have been a certified child life specialist for eight years now and I feel so privileged to be able to help support kids and their families as they navigate through their health care journey.
I have worked in a number of hospitals, including the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, the Stollery Children’s Hospital and Alberta Children’s Hospital and I am so excited to be able to work with the Kids Cancer Care families! My own family is uniquely tied to Kids Cancer Care and it is so exciting that I am now a part of the team! I love to be silly and fun and you will often find me making funny faces or telling stories! My baboon story is the BEST! Ask me to share it with you when we meet. I am looking forward to bringing my hospital experience to the community setting and I can’t wait to meet all of the amazing kids and families!
- What's your favourite place to visit?India. I loved India so much!
- What's your favourite flavour of ice cream?Classic chocolate all the way for me!
Director of Marketing and Communications
I love words. Finding the right word while writing or stumbling over a beautiful turn of phrase while reading instills in me a deep sense of peace. Something in the universe just seems to line up when words work.
I spend a good part of my days writing — newsletters, annual reports, brochures, media releases, advertising copy, fundraising appeals, speaking notes, web content. The other part of my days, I spend planning and strategizing, scheduling and executing mar-comm plans. I feel fortunate because I can’t think of a worthier cause to work for. The cancer journeys these kids experience are both horrific and heroic. And, what our champions (donors, sponsors, partners, shave hosts, event participants and volunteers) do to transform these young lives both humbles and inspires me. Kids Cancer Care is a life-affirming place to work for and it daily rekindles my faith in humanity. Sharing stories of our vulnerability, our courage, our love and our hope—our wonderful and flawed humanity—is what living is all about.
- What’s something quirky about yourself?I can distort my tongue and vocal cords to mimic the hum of a dove or the chirp of a cricket with a hangover.
- Best read?There are so many! But I would have to say that my all-time favourite read has to be Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov.
- What’s your camp name? Lotus.
In my role as outreach coordinator, I create psychosocial supports for kids and families facing childhood cancer through our year-round recreational and wellness programming. Before moving into Calgary to work at the Kids Cancer Care office, I spent two lovely seasons at Camp Kindle, where I was fondly nicknamed Moo!
Working in city has me supporting the amazing teens in our Teen Leadership Program and youngsters and families in our kid programs such as Halloween Howler, A Christmas Carol. I also provide programming support to the revenue development team at some of our fundraising events such as the High Hopes Challenge. The connection and growth I get from working with these kids and families always fill up my cup.
- What’s your favourite travel destination? Alaska.
- What is something quirky about you? I have an addiction to purchasing organizational items.
- What’s something on your bucket list? High five a stranger at the PERFECT moment.
Education Support Specialist
I love learning about learning! I love brain research, the study of brain plasticity and watching all those magical moments when kids discover something new! Learning and hope, to me, are two things that go hand in hand.
As an education support specialist at Kids Cancer Care, I get to help our families by matching them with our volunteer tutors. First, I connect with our families to understand the learning and educational needs of their kids. Then I match them with our amazing volunteer tutors who I support and guide throughout the year. Finally, I check in all along the way for ideas on how we can grow the tutoring program to better serve our families.
I am thrilled to be working at Kids Cancer Care! My favourite things are my four kids, my husband, my puppy and my job. Having a daughter go through brain cancer and six full months of in-hospital treatment and a long ongoing recovery, I know first-hand how Kids Cancer Care can bring joy to the journey. Our family’s experience with cancer and Kids Cancer Care taught us that good things and hard things are not opposites. Rich lives are grown out of pain and joy intermingled.
- What's your favourite movie?
My favorite movie is Shadowlands, the Story of C.S.Lewis and the love of his life Joy Davidman. Some of my favorite reads are his books from the Narnia series.
- What is your favourite ice cream? My favorite ice cream is chocolate peanut butter on a cold day or creamsicle on a hot day.
- What's your favourite travel desitination? My favorite travel destination is any of the Hawaiian islands.
Marketing and Communications Specialist
The best part of my job is that I get to work with every team - from fundraising to camp to outreach - to tell the world what we're up to at Kids Cancer Care! For the most part, I handle all the digital communications, social media, our website, and get to work on the annual Kids Cancer Care video.
The positive impact our foundation has on the families affected by cancer is amazing. My first camp experience was an Ice Cream Friday in 2010, as a sponsor guest. It was pouring rain and the kids still lined up for ice cream! It was magical. There is no place on earth like Camp Kindle and there is no organization on earth like Kids Cancer Care. I am so fortunate to be a part of such a great team!
- What is your favourite ice cream flavour? Kit Kat or Nanaimo Bar.
- Where is your hometown?Balzac, Alberta!
- What is your favourite travel destination? New York City or any warm vacation spot with a lazy river.
My role as development associate of annual and legacy giving provides me with wonderful opportunities to connect with Kids Cancer Care’s caring and generous donors. Through writing direct mail pieces, I feel truly honoured and privileged to share the unique personal journeys of our children with our donors, proudly sharing how their gifts make a profoundly positive impact in the lives of the children and families we serve.
For me, it’s the innocence, heart, courage and resilience of these children that fuels my determination to support them in their battle against childhood cancer until it’s eradicated. What we can accomplish together with community, connections, dedication and commitment is nothing short of extraordinary!
Outreach and Education Support Specialist
Every day is a new day in the office. I currently have my head in two spots, outreach and education, and I am constantly multi-tasking. I love being challenged to improve and grow Kids Cancer Care's programs. When I moved to Calgary from Montreal in 2012, I knew right away that Kids Cancer Care is the place for me. I felt connected and welcomed with open arms right from the start. I love giving back and now I have an opportunity to give back in a way that is meaningful to children, teens and their families. It just feels right.
No day is a ‘typical’ day! Most of my days involve plugging in tutoring data, working in collaberation with Karin Schlegel, our education and support specialist, getting tutors and learners matched, reaching out to partners in the childhood cancer community, looking over scholarship applications, planning the AGM, hosting groups at our new office space, leading education support committee meetings, overseeing all our parent programs (culinary competitions, dragon boat team, parent workshops) and working with everyone in the office, just to name a few. ;)
- What’s your camp name? Snow.
- What’s your favorite ice cream topping? Cookie dough bits, fudge bits and caramel…can’t choose just one!
- Dogs or cats? Definitely dogs!
Maintenance Manager - Camp Kindle
I love working for Kids Cancer Care at Camp Kindle. Kids Cancer Care serves the most amazing kids! Seeing them have such a great time at camp, makes me want to work even harder to make the camp perfect for them. Working for the Kids Cancer Care gives me great fulfillment.
I am the maintenance manager at Camp Kindle. We always have projects on the go; they range from fencing, solar lighting, building pathways, cleaning up the forested areas so we have more usable space and much more. We also mow grass and shovel snow!
- What’s your favorite ice cream topping?My favorite ice cream topping is hot fudge, but orange crush floats are my favorite way to have ice cream.
- Cats or dogs?Dogs are my choice of pet. I have Australian shepherds.
- What’s something on your bucket list? A couple of things on my bucket list are riding my horse in the ocean and along the beach, somewhere warm of course. I would also like to spend a new years eve in New York and be part of the count down.
Events and Community Relations Manager
My role at Kids Cancer Care allows me to plan our unique and creative signature fundraising events, as well as work with community partners on fundraising initiatives that support the foundation. I also have the privilege of leading our incredible events and community fundraising team. Together, we fundraise over half of Kids Cancer Care’s annual revenue.
I love working at Kids Cancer Care because of the people - community partners, our wonderful staff, numerous vendors and the courageous families we support are the reason I love what I do. It is inspiring to work together toward a common goal of supporting children affected by cancer and their families.
- What’s your camp name? Puffin.
- Best read? Shantaram.
- What’s something on your bucket list? Visiting all seven continents. Five down, two to go!
As development associate of donor relations and marketing, I have an incredibly fulfilling job. I research and write grants, steward donors, help coordinate the High Hopes Challenge, the Big Brave and provide support to other fundraising events. I love my work here because I get to be part of a team that collectively makes a big difference in the lives of very special children and their families.
- What’s your camp name? Chips.
- Where is your hometown? Las Vegas, Nevada.
- What’s your favourite meal? All things Mexican. I'm obsessed with the food, culture and music of Mexico.
As nursing manager, I am tasked with coordinating pediatric oncology nursing initiatives and services at camp. Aspects of my role include assisting the organization in the coordination and management of medical practices, the development and implementation of policies and procedures, and staff/volunteer development and medical training.
I am truly grateful to have the opportunity to work with Kids Cancer Care in this capacity. As the sibling of a cancer survivor, I had the opportunity to attend Camp Kindle as a kid. I have since been involved with Kids Cancer Care as a camp counselor/programmer and more recently as a registered nurse. Camp Kindle is an incredibly unique place, and I am very fortunate to have witnessed the positive impact camp has had on so many families.
Director of Philanthropy
Donors make our world a better place. It is my privilege to help Kids Cancer Care’s donors feel connected to our work and to ensure we maximize the impact of their gifts for the benefit of kids and families struggling with cancer. I work with an amazing team of women who go above and beyond every day in the hard task of raising funds and delivering programs to kids and families. Our team is creative, committed, hardworking, fun-loving, organized and compassionate, making Kids Cancer Care an incredible place to work.
- What’s your camp name?Nino.
- What’s your favorite movie?Anything with Hugh Jackman! Right now it's The Greatest Showman.
- Tell us something quirky about yourself. My Hogwarts House is Hufflepuff!
Maintenance Assistant - Camp Kindle
I am Camp Kindle’s full-time maintenance assistant. I work year-round to keep Camp Kindle running smoothly, whether that’s building a whole new project or changing a light bulb!
I have been with Kids Cancer Care since 2013. Since then, I have seen first-hand what my work around camp can do for a child with cancer. It’s simply amazing what is possible when your heart is in your job, whether that’s keeping the camp looking great, or providing campers and groups with the best service and care you can give.
- What is your favourite movie? The Lego Movie.
- What is your favourite meal?Steak and baked potatoes.
- Where is your hometown?Cremona/Water Valley, AB.
Camp Program Manager
As camp program manager, I get to work with the campers and staff and connect with the groups on site. My favourite part of working at camp is getting to see the campers and the staff grow into their surroundings. A typical day is interacting with campers, running programs and helping the staff to achieve their goals.
I love working for Kids Cancer Care, particularly at Camp Kindle, because I get to participate in the running of camp. I also get to see the firsthand impact that camp makes on our campers.
- Where is your hometown? Hockley, Essex, England.
- What's your favourite movie? Toy Story.
- What's your favourite meal?Steak fajitas.
Education Support Specialist
Touched by cancer in my own circle of friends and family, my involvement at Kids Cancer Care is allowing me to ‘take action’ with a super energetic, committed team.
As an Education Support Specialist, I guide the programs we offer to support children’s learning needs, such as our home-based, one-to-one tutoring program. We are striving to provide families with educational supports and advocacy. Working with health care providers, educators and parents, we are compiling resources for families and developing workshops related to learning, parenting, and family wellbeing.
- What is something quirky about you?I am a keen collector of interesting quotes and poems, plus fascinating bits of brain research on learning.
- What is something on your bucket list?Hike up to the Beehive on Lake Louise at least one more time with my daughter and read ALL of the books on my bookshelf plus on my very long list of must-reads.
Director of Operations - Camp Kindle
As director of operations at Camp Kindle, I get to oversee all aspects of the experience of our campers. I am responsible for making sure everyone has a fantastic time while they are at our amazing facility in the majestic beauty of the Alberta foothills.
Camp is a magical place where people can put aside their worries, labels and challenges. Where success can be as large as trying something that scares you and as small as giving a hug and either way it is special and celebrated. I love working with people completely committed to creating the very best camp experience for every person who enters the gates.
- What’s your camp name?Ozone.
- What's your favourite meal?Grilled cheese and tomato soup!
- What's your favourite movie?A Knight's Tale
Manager of Volunteers and Outreach Programs
As manager of volunteers and outreach programs, I wear a lot of hats. I have the pleasure of building meaningful relationships and creating outstanding and fulfilling opportunities for people who have a heart for giving back and for the kids and families, so deserving our care and support during a difficult time.
Overseeing the outreach team and supporting the growth and direction of our programs and services is another highlight of my role. I have an incredibly dedicated team with diverse expertise, which allows us to be creative and intentional with our programs and services. I like to say we are nutty and silly, which makes for a fun and light work culture so we can be our best for those who need us the most.
I have such a passion for this incredible organization. I am blessed to have a hand in fostering growth and opportunities for kids and families affected by cancer, my staff team and all the selfless volunteers involved in all the magic.
- What is your camp name? Ladybug.
- What is your favourite travel destination?San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua.
- Hometown? Assiniboia, Saskatchewan, two hours from RIDER Nation!
Accounting and Payroll Specialist
As the accounting and payroll specialist, I am responsible for Kids Cancer Care's timely and accurate financial keeping and payroll services. I also maintaining an invoice tracking system for all Camp Kindle rentals.
I love working for Kids Cancer Care because our organization helps so many families by providing programs and for those fighting or affected by childhood cancer. I really enjoy working for Kids Cancer Care and am always ready for challenges!
- What’s your favourite ice cream flavour?Green tea and sesame!
- What’s your favorite travel destination? Las Vegas.
- Where is your hometown?Hong Kong!