What We Do

The Kids with Cancer Society provides unique, vital programs and services free of charge to children and families residing in Northern Alberta and the NWT.

Many families describe the Kids with Cancer Society as a lifeline when their lives have been turned upside down. We offer programs and services that address their unique and complex needs ranging from Family support programs and activities, peer support, activities, counselling services, and financial and education support to name a few.

How It All Started

In 1979 a group of concerned parents knew that something had to be done! The fact was that their children had cancer and they felt alone. 

Their efforts led to the creation of the Kids with Cancer Society.  More than 44 years later, we are proud to say that children and their families are no longer alone during their journey.

The Kids with Cancer Society strongly believes that comprehensive, family-centered programs are essential to effectively treat children with cancer.

Our free-of-charge programs and services support the following groups of people:

  • Children between the ages of 0-17
  • Residents of Northern Alberta and NWT
  • Siblings of children with cancer
  • Childhood cancer survivors
  • Bereaved Families
  • The childhood cancer medical community

Our Programs

With a small dedicated staff, the Kids with Cancer Society offers programs to assist families in the following areas:

Activities and Support

Providing the necessary tools to help families cope with the demands of treatment and to minimize family disruption and related stress. Areas of support address the emotional, educational, accommodation, financial and survivorship needs of our children and families both from a therapeutic and recreational aspect.

Clinical Support

Providing funds to the hospital that supports and complements basic care including child life activities, professional development, teen room upgrade and educational resources.


Ensuring that funds are available to participate in activities that improve the wellbeing and outcome for children with cancer. This includes the Muriel and Ada Hole Kids with Cancer Society Chair in Pediatric Oncology and the support of clinical trials, and general research funding.

Our Facilities

The Kids with Cancer Society House

11135 – 84 Avenue

The first of its kind in Canada, this facility is located within hospital walking distance. It provides on-site support programs to families at all stages of their cancer journey. This facility also houses our offices.

This facility was made possible by the generosity of the Dave Lede Family Charitable Foundation and the Alberta Lottery Fund’s Major Community Facilities Program.

Papa Ken’s House


This accommodation facility is available when no other options exist. It gives out-of-town families free accommodations during treatment and follow-up appointments.

Named for Ken Webb, whose vision and devotion to the families of the Kids with Cancer Society, helped shoulder the parents’ load and carried the organization forward.

Made possible by the generosity of Paddy Webb, Dave Lede Family Charitable Foundation, Qualico and the Alberta Government.

We might not be able to take the cancer away from the child, but what we can do is make their journey a little easier.

Papa Ken Webb

Our Staff

Kids with Cancer Society staff members include:

Chelsea Draeger Hughes


Tracey Thurston

Director of Development

Blair Lewis

Family Services Manager

Madison McElligott

Signature Events Manager

Barb Dmytryshyn

Papa Ken’s House Guest Services Manager

Jaclyn Draker

Graphic Designer

Pamela Learmond

Family Programs Coordinator

Sarah Dowling

Development Officer

Sandra Sundgaard

Admin and Operations

Board Members

The Kids with Cancer Society is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of parents, pediatric oncology professionals, and industry leaders. In addition, the Family Advisory Council, a group of parents impacted by childhood cancer, plays a key role to advocate and direct the Society in the development and implementation of programs and services, as well as overall policy.

Brad Armstrong

Chair of the Board

J.P. Janssens


Kavan Hyde


Chelsea Draeger

Non-voting Member (Staff)

Karen Klak

Director, Parent Representative

Gayle Krupa

Director, Parent Representative, Chair of the Family Advisory Council

Bryce Liedtke

Director, Parent Representative

Casey McKenzie


Aleksa Mrdjenovich


James Richardson


Don Riep


Adam Temple


You can make a difference

Be the Donor Difference. With your support, no child will fight cancer alone!


Operational Costs / Fundraising

We are passionately dedicated to our children and are committed to developing an infrastructure that will ensure funds are directed to programs and services that will assist children in their battle against cancer.

How does the Kids with Cancer Society maintain low costs?

We keep a small staff (we only have 8 full time employees), a large volunteer base, and our goal is to obtain products and services through donation whenever possible.

Other Ways to Help

We greatly appreciate all donations made to the Kids with Cancer Society and we would like to warmly thank you for your interest. Here are a few other ways that you can support us in our mission to help children with cancer and their families.

Become a Monthly Donor

Partner with Kids with Cancer Society to make a huge impact in a child’s family during an incredibly difficult time in their lives. 


Donate your time. Help make our many programs for families and our fundraising events a huge success.

Organize an Event

Do you have an idea for a fundraising event? Add your event to our list of community events. We can also handle the fundraising part.


Do children and families pay for any of the programs?

No. All programs are supported through our fundraising efforts; there are no costs to families.

Does everyone diagnosed with childhood cancer have access to the KWCS programs and services?

Yes. All children and teens ages 0-17, regardless of when they were diagnosed, have access to our programs and services. The society supports those who reside in Northern Alberta, and the Northwest Territories, Canada and who are currently, or have been treated for, childhood cancer.

Do you support the whole family?

As we believe that the diagnosis affects the entire family, many of our support programs include siblings and parents.

How does the Kids with Cancer Society decide what programs and services to fund?

By working with our parents, and through close communication with the medical team who treat children with cancer, and the Family Advisory Council, the Society is able to identify priorities and fund only programs that will have the greatest impact.

What makes the Kids with Cancer Society unique?

When a child is diagnosed, the Society receives a referral from the hospital.  This allows us to meet the family at the time of diagnosis and customize our support to meet their individual needs.  We maintain contact with each family at every phase of their journey to ensure the right supports are in place.  

How do you support schools and educational issues?

Our “BrainWorks” program aims to identify and address learning difficulties associated with treatment before they become a life altering challenge. This initiative includes consultation and assessment of the child in order to identify potential problems, tutoring, and interaction with schools.

Is the Kids with Cancer Society a registered Charity?

Yes—Charitable Registration No. 88640-1397RR0001.