Why would you jump out of a perfectly good airplane? For Calgary REALTOR® Brian van Vliet, the answer is a good cause, of course.
Inspired by his client, Theresa Llewellyn, who is currently battling cancer for the second time, van Vliet plans to take fundraising to new heights when he completes a tandem jump from 13,000 feet at Alberta Skydive Central in Innisfail on Sept. 17.
Making the jump to raise funds for Kids Cancer Care, van Vliet is inviting local Realtors to join him in the skydiving and fundraising event and hopes to raise $20,000.
“The combination of Kids Cancer Care’s extraordinary programs and Theresa’s valiant battle with cancer inspired me to do more than just make an annual charitable donation,” said van Vliet.
Llewellyn endured eight rounds of aggressive chemotherapy, 28 rounds of radiation and multiple surgeries over an 11-month period in her battle with breast cancer. Now, she is facing another fight after being diagnosed with colon cancer.
“If this fundraiser can save one child or help one family, it is worth every bit of the effort,” said Llewellyn.
“The combination of Kids Cancer Care’s extraordinary programs and Theresa’s valiant battle with cancer inspired me to do more than just make an annual charitable donation.” – Brian van Vliet, Calgary REALTOR®
Along with highlighting his client’s cancer battle, van Vliet chose to raise funds for Kids Cancer Care due to the hardships being faced by the charity because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’ve chosen Kids Cancer Care because they offer so much, not just for children with cancer, but for families that are dealing with cancer, and they provide so many programs like Camp Kindle,” said van Vliet. “During this time of COVID, it affects all charities across the board, to the point where funds are tight and they can’t do all of their events.”
Kids Cancer Care normally offers summer camp programs for children of all ages who have been affected by cancer or have a parent suffering from the disease, but the charity has been forced to cancel many camps this year.
“We haven’t been able to do our typical type of fundraising,” said Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta CEO Christine McIver. “It means that we’re down a lot in donations, so it’s going to affect our current and future programs.
“Most of our programs now are done virtually because we’ve been able to pivot and do them online, but the thing that we haven’t be able to do is support any of our research and hospital programs in person because we had to cut back so many staff. Really, there isn’t an area of the foundation that it hasn’t affected.”
Funds raised through Jump for a Cure will go toward Kids Cancer Care’s therapeutic, recreational and educational programs, both in-person and online. To donate, visit jumpforacure.ca.