These stories cover 2019 to August 8, 2023
Server – has worked in the hospitality industry for over 40 years. After undergoing a mastectomy due to breast cancer, she encountered the additional difficulty of a post-op infection. The BCHF helped cover her basic expenses such as food, rent, and medical equipment until she could return to work.
Server– in Whistler who suffered a knee injury when she was hit by a snowboarder while skiing. The BCHF helped cover the cost of essential physiotherapy so she could return to work after a 3-month surgery and recovery period.
Server – in Nanaimo who underwent a second surgery for a spine-related condition after the first surgery was botched. The BCHF helped cover his basic living expenses for the 2 months he couldn’t work.
Sous Chef – in the hospitality industry on Vancouver Island. The BCHF helped cover his living costs for a six-week recovery period following a surgical procedure.
Server – in Revelstoke. During her second bout with cancer she underwent surgery and 5 weeks of radiation therapy in Victoria. The BCHF helped cover the costs of her travel to and lodging in the city, as well as necessary medication.
Housekeeper – at a Vancouver hotel whose pre-teen daughter was diagnosed with an ovarian tumour. She needed to take time off to help her daughter undergo surgery as well as treatment for a subsequent neurological disorder. The BCHF helped cover basic expenses during her time off.
Server –who had to take time off from her job as a server due to ankle, leg, and foot injuries. She needed 3 surgeries. The BCHF helped cover her basic living expenses during the 2-month period during which she was unable to work.
Server – supervisor whose life was turned upside-down by a broken elbow. By the time she applied for help from the BCHF she had already lost nearly 20lbs because she lacked money for food. The BCHF helped cover basic living expenses, physiotherapy, and medication costs until she was able to return to work.
Server – in Victoria who had to take time off work to receive treatment for breast cancer. The BCHF matched funds at a fundraiser held to assist her in covering basic living costs until she could return to work.
Server – who fell down an embankment while holding her young son in her arms, breaking 2 of her vertebrae. She needed the assistance of a home nurse during an extended recovery period, as she had to wear a lumbar brace that severely restricted her movement. The BCHF helped cover her basic living expenses for a 4-month period.
Industry worker – worked in the hospitality industry for over 20 years until laid off in January of 2019. His long-term health condition makes it particularly difficult for him to adapt to changing circumstances. The BCHF helped cover his medication costs and rent for a 2-month period.
Hotel worker – in a Vancouver hotel who saw 5 different doctors before she was correctly diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder that causes facial paralysis, among other problems. The combined cost of medications, specialized therapy to help her facial nerves and muscles recover, physiotherapy, optometrist appointments, and acupuncture left her in financial crisis. The BCHF helped with funding to cover 6 weeks of acupuncture treatments and part of her rent.
Food services – diagnosed with breast cancer about 3 weeks after returning to work when her maternity leave ended. At the same time, she and her husband were also evicted from their subsidized rental unit because their landlord wanted to move back in. Her husband was working as a chef 12 hours a day, 5-6 days a week to make ends meet and taking her to appointments in Vancouver on his days off. The BCHF matched money raised at a fundraiser to help the couple cover living and child care expenses while she underwent treatment consisting of 12 weeks of chemotherapy followed by radiation therapy and surgery.
Food services – long-time food services professional in Lillooet who was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to travel to Kamloops repeatedly for treatment. At the same time she was unfortunately laid off from her job. The BCHF helped cover the cost of accommodation while she was in that city.
Chef – in Terrace diagnosed who was with cancer. The BCHF matched funds donated to a Go Fund Me campaign started by one of his stepdaughters.
Hotel worker – has worked in the hospitality industry for over 3 decades. Treatment for breast cancer left her unable to work as a server for at least 4 months. The BCHF helped cover basic living expenses for 2 months.
Server – who suffered a serious elbow injury. The BCHF helped cover the cost of her rent and physiotherapy for six weeks, at which time she was able to return to work.
Cook – is a career cook from Victoria who has multiple health conditions and was facing financial crisis. The BCHF helped by covering some of his expenses for a limited period of time.
Cook – who had two brain tumours, one of which could not be removed surgically as it was too high-risk. She was unable to work for an extended period, due to courses of chemotherapy and radiation, and while her husband continued to work, his single income was insufficient to support her and an 8-year-old daughter. She benefited from a Go Fund Me campaign but after that money had run out the BCHF helped cover the family’s basic living expenses for a limited period of time.
Server – at a Victoria hotel. He has long-term health condition, and it was exacerbated by a foot injury he experienced that left him unable to work for a period. The BCHF helped by covering some of his basic living expenses until he could return to full employment.
Cook – in Kelowna who was diagnosed with leukemia and then, in quick succession, liver cancer as well. His financial resources were quickly depleted, leaving him without money to provide necessities for himself and his teenage son. The BCHF helped cover some of his basic expenses for a limited period of time.
Tourism – tourism industry dealing with hotels. She had to take time off work to have 4 cancerous tumours removed from her throat and undergo chemotherapy and radiation. It was subsequently found that the cancer had also reached her lungs. She benefited from two Go Fund Me campaigns, but needed additional financial support, so the BCHF helped her cover living expenses and supported fundraising efforts on social media.
Hospitality industry – was a full-time student with 2 part-time jobs in the hospitality industry who underwent surgery on her right hand for a condition that made the whole arm immobile for a period of time. She had to withdraw from school and was unable to work for 4 months. The BCHF helped cover her rent for a limited period of time.
Cook – who had one leg amputated below the knee due to complications from diabetes. The BCHF helped cover a portion of his overdue rent.
Wine maker – a Peachland winemaker who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. In addition to chemotherapy and radiation, he needed a stem cell transplant, a procedure available only at Vancouver General Hospital. He was unable to work for an extended period, and his wife also needed to take time off from her job in order to be his around-the-clock caregiver for 5 weeks following the transplant. The BCHF helped by covering the cost of accommodation of his Vancouver stay and additional funds for basic living expenses for a limited period of time. It also promoted his Go Fund Me campaign.
Food Services – worker in Kelowna whose son was diagnosed with cancer. After 12 rounds of chemotherapy it was hoped the son (who also has special needs) was clear of the disease, but it turned out it had metastasized and his only chance of survival was to undergo a trial stem cell transplant. Ultimately the procedure was unsuccessful. The BCHF helped cover the cost of medication for her son while he was in palliative care.
Winery worker – in Keremeos who faced not only severe arthritis, but multiple other health conditions. The BCHF helped cover basic living expenses, as well as necessary medication, for a limited period of time.
Restaurant – who was diagnosed with lung cancer. She needed to stay in Kelowna in order to undergo an extended course of radiation and chemotherapy treatments. The BCHF helped cover the cost of travel and accommodation costs for 5 weeks, as well as contributing to the cost of basic living expenses for 2 months.
Hotel banquet – worker whose wife was diagnosed with cancer. She needed to undergo a 7-week course of chemotherapy and radiation, resulting in a financial crisis. Support from the BCHF helped alleviate their economic circumstances.
Server – at a Vancouver restaurant – soft tissue and head injury from being struck by a car as a pedestrian – covered her February rent and other basic expenses so she could return to work
Cook – suffered a stroke in 2019 and his wife had to have an emergency root canal in early 2020 – covered the cost of the dental work and basic living costs for 1 month
Server – at a Kelowna restaurant – severe concussion – covered basic living costs while she received treatment and was unable to work
Server – at Vancouver restaurant – broken pelvis – covered basic living costs until she was able to return to work
Hotel worker – guest services at a Vancouver Hotel – her husband needed treatment for a medical condition – funds supplemented their reduced income until he was able to return to work
Tourism – tourist attraction in Victoria – diagnosed with throat cancer – covered three months’ basic expenses
Server – at Qualicum Beach restaurant – breast cancer – covered cancer lodge fees while she stayed in Victoria for radiation treatments
Cook – in BC since he was 16 – stage 4 colon cancer that spread to his lungs and liver – covered his bills for the next few months while he gets treatment
Restaurant – the spouse of a restaurant worker in Kelowna – had a high-risk pregnancy that required her to stay near St. Paul’s Hospital for a month. The BCHF helped cover the couple’s cost of accommodation in Vancouver during this time.
Hospitality industry – was laid off from a hospitality job due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He had to be hospitalized for a week due to a heart issue, and subsequently developed a staph infection. He did not qualify for CERB benefits, so the BCHF helped cover his basic living expenses and medication costs for a limited time while he was unable to work.
Restaurant – worker whose husband, Rohit, works at a fast-food restaurant in Kelowna. She had to stay in Surrey for 3 weeks for observation due to a high-risk pregnancy. The BCHF helped cover the couple’s cost of accommodation for 21 days.
Restaurant – Lower Mainland restaurant owner struggling with a family member’s serious illness. We assisted financially to ensure they did not have to close their business and could afford the treatment for their family member.
Restaurant – in Whistler when it closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She had previously had a knee replaced, and underwent knee surgery in July 2020. When her CERB benefits ran out she received medical EI, but even with borrowing money from friends she was unable to cover her living expenses, therapy, and medication costs. The BCHF helped cover the shortfall for a limited period of time while she was unable to work.
Housekeeping – worked in hotel housekeeping for several years. When he was laid off from his Whistler job due to COVID he did not qualify for CERB or EI and moved to Vancouver to look for work. Shortly afterward he was diagnosed with severe asthma as well as mouth and gum disease requiring surgery. The BCHF supported him with funds to repay debt to a friend, cover medical costs for 3 months, and assist with dental work expenses while he continued to seek employment.
Restaurant worker – worked in the food service industry for two decades before being laid off due to COVID. He has had severe respiratory issues for several years which caused him to be hospitalized several times in 2020. The BCHF supported him with the funds needed to purchase a breathing assistance device he can use at home that will enable him to return to a reasonably normal state of health following a recovery period.
Restaurant worker – was on the staff of a Victoria restaurant. His wife works in the local hotel industry. He had open heart surgery following a massive heart attack and stroke. At 45 years old, he is now paralyzed from the waist down and faces a long recovery. The BCHF matched funds raised by his employer to help provide financial relief for him and his family, which includes a teenage son.
Server – was laid off from both her part-time server positions due to COVID-related closures. She subsequently supported herself and her 13-year-old son, who has autism, by working from home until she had a car accident in May 2021. The collision aggravated physical injuries she had sustained in 2 previous accidents, leaving her unable to work. The BCHF supported her with the funds to cover a month’s rent and to repay money she had borrowed from family members.
Bartender – is a bartender whose income was drastically affected by COVID-related closures. The serious shoulder injury he sustained during a running accident in July 2021 prevented him from working for six weeks and added physiotherapy treatments to his expenses. The BCHF supported him with funds to ease the financial pressures he was under so he could focus on recovering and applying for second part-time jobs to increase his income.
Bartender and Proprietor – was a career hospitality worker who passed away in 2021 after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was a loving single dad with two teenagers. The BCHF contributed funds to a GoFundMe campaign raising funds to support his children with their future education and other needs.
Brewery worker – has a genetic form of MS. He worked at a local brewery until he was laid off due to the COVID pandemic. After his government benefits ran out, the BCHF paid for a machine to help him with his sleep apnea.
Media – published a hospitality-related magazine until he passed away quite suddenly due to cancer. The BCHF supported the spouse and the couple’s two children with funds to help cover their immediate needs, to give them a chance to deal with the emotional and financial shock of their loss.
Chef – had worked in the hospitality industry for three decades prior to being diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis. The disease resulted in a myriad of disabilities, preventing her from continuing to work in a commercial kitchen. She is working part-time in a vineyard, but will be unable to support herself for the foreseeable future and is waiting to be advised of the result of his disability benefit application. The BCHF supported her by contributing to basic expenses for two months, as well as and covering the cost of orthotics and wrist braces.
Winery employee – who became paralyzed from the waist down in an autoimmune reaction attributed to his COVID vaccination. He is currently working part-time from home, but his employment future is uncertain and his wife has had to reduce her working hours to help him access medical care. The BCHF supported the couple by contributing funds to cover the balance owing on his wheelchair and the purchase of an adjustable table that would enable him to work more comfortable.
Brewery General Manager – had to reduce her hours and finally leave her job to care for her adult daughter, who has a rare tumour causing spinal deterioration. The BCHF contributed to the cost of renovating the family’s home to make it wheelchair accessible, and helped promote the GoFundMe campaign organized to fund this goal.
Disc jockey and audio/video/lighting specialist – working in Whistler suffered a stroke at the age of 56. Severe impairments as a result of the event, as well as months of costly rehab, depleted their family resources. The BCHF supported him with funds as temporary assistance for day-to-day expenses while his wife focuses on increasing her income and they wait to hear about CPP disability benefits.
Restaurant – contracted an infection while giving birth to a premature baby girl. Mother and baby were transferred to Kelowna General Hospital and had to stay there for over 3 weeks. The BCHF helped the family to cover the extraordinary costs of the father’s travel, older sister’s care and living out of their home for 21 nights.
Restaurant – gave birth to a baby girl who had some critical medical problems and had to be flown to Vancouver immediately. Mother and father stayed in Richmond for 4 weeks while the baby received treatment. The BCHF helped them by providing funds to cover their debt and allow them to manage their day-to-day finances.
Chef – in the Lower Mainland who was hit by a car and suffered 3 vertebrae fractures. We supported him financially to help with bills and give him some breathing room until he can return to work.
Server/Kelowna – while struggling with covid 19 work restrictions she was forced to work less hours. While walking her dog she broke her foot, but did not realize it was broken so went back to work after two weeks. At her follow up appointment, the doctors determined that screws were needed to stabilize the foot. The BCHF supported her with funds to cover 2 months of shortfall income while she is ready to get back to work.
Manager/Lower Mainland – has been in the hospitality industry for 3 years. His 7 month old daughter requires a plagiocephaly helmet to strengthen her cranium. Treatment is most effective between the ages of 8-12 months. The helmet is custom made and the BCHF supported the family with the cost of the helmet.
Restaurant server/Lower Mainland. Single and has no dependents. He broke his ankle while skating on April 2 and is anticipating going back to work in 12 weeks. His employer will phase him back into the workforce as soon as he is able to walk. The BCHF provided support equivalent to the shortfall between income and expenses for 3.5 months.
Chef/Vancouver Island – A 31-year-old culinary chef who has worked in the Okanagan and Vancouver Island at many restaurants. She was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in the summer of 2021 and has undergone several treatments and two surgeries. The BCHF supports the applicant with 4 months of expenses and to ease her mind during recovery as she is unable to return to work this year.
Pub Manager/bartender – had a hiking accident on April 26. She shattered her tibia and broke her fibula. She had surgery 2 days after the accident and now is undergoing physio. It is anticipated that a gradual return to work will be possible in September. The applicant is married and has 3 children of her own, one with autism and her husband supports 2 children from a previous marriage. The BCHF supported her with funds to cover their shortfall for 2.5 months at which point she is scheduled to start work again.
Chef at Wilderness Resort – While on scheduled days off he broke his knee in a skateboarding accident. He has been immobile since the accident and has been wearing a brace. It is unlikely that he will be able to work for the next three months. The applicant is single and lives on his own with no dependents. He covered his rent with last paycheque with his EI claim under review. The BCHF supported him with funds to cover shortfall of expenses for 3 months until he is able to return to work.
Owner/Bartender – A lower mainland long-term member of the Hospitality Industry who has also been involved in running charitable events for many years. On July 16 while running charity event he ruptured his Achilles tendon. He will be in a boot until February. There is a possibility that he may have surgery. This precludes him from doing any work that involves standing up for long periods. The BCHF contributed funds to cover his income shortfall for the next couple of months as well as help him repay some incurred debts until he can return to work until the end of September.
Server/Vancouver Island – Has worked in BC as a server between 2017-2019. Prior to that she worked in Hospitality in the UK. She left the work force to give birth to her first child and has been a stay at home Mother for the last 3 years and has delivered her second child 2 months ago. The relationship with partner had become abusive and has suffered and is suffering from PTSD, ADHD, Anxiety disorders and depression. The BCHF’s has provided funds so she can focus on going back to school and get a job in Bartending in January, 2023.
Cook/Casino – He is 45 and was recently diagnosed with a cancerous tumour in his neck and is undergoing tests in preparation for surgery . He has no sources of income, no savings and is repaying a personal debt. He has applied for EI which, when received, will provide some relief. The BCHF contributed funds towards his short fall income to cover rent and expenses for 3 months to recover from surgery and return to work.
Chef/Kelowna – Has worked in the hospitality industry for over 25 years. He was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2019 and his treatments have resulted in gaining weight due to water retention and his symptoms from chemo are making his recovery difficult including added dental and eyeglasses needs. The BCHF supported him with 3 months shortfall of monthly income including funds to purchase new eyeglasses so that he can focus on finding an administrative position.
Server/Whistler – A long-term restaurant worker. Has had several health conditions including post concussion syndrome. During the summer had a cancerous tumor removed. She will be able to return to work part-time at the beginning of November. The BCHF helped by covering her shortfall for 2 months by which time she should be working 3 days per week.
Winery/Okanagan – Ended work on October and on EI waiting for 4 surgeries to be able to return to work. Two of the surgeries are regarding Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in both wrists. The other 2 are to repair her joints compromised from arthritis. She hopes to return to work in April 2023. The BCHF has supported her with funds to cover her shortfall income for 4 months.
Agency/Vancouver Island – Long term hospitality worker who previously worked in bars and pubs moved to become a brand promoter. Involved in a car accident that resulted in a severed kneecap, 3 fractures on her leg and collapsed lung. Expects to be able to return to work in 4 months. The BCHF supported her with funds to cover her shortfall expenses until she can return to work.
Hotel – Housekeeping Manager – Osoyoos. Her husband works in maintenance at the same hotel until his stage 4 pancreatic cancer prevented him from working. Some prescriptions covered by her benefit plan, but his Medical EI is depleted. Husband would like a recliner chair to help him move from sitting to upright position and they have some debt. They have two teenage children who work seasonally at the hotel as well. The BCHF provided support for monthly expenses and additional funds so the family has an opportunity to decide how best to take care of him during the final part of his life.
Spa – Director of Operations – Victoria. The applicant, who is the main income provider to the household, was diagnosed in August 2022 with an aggressive form of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphona and was undergoing chemotherapy. They also have ongoing treatments for Relapse Remitting Multiple Sclerosis. In December 2022, the applicant fell and broke their right foot. The BCHF supported her with funds to cover the monthly expenses for the next 3 months while the applicant is recovering properly from her foot injury. The applicant is willing to go back to work and is currently working with her employer to find alternative tasks and have them return to work in a lower capacity.
Pub – Server – Vancouver. A 24-year-old server who immigrated to Canada in 2017. He has been working in the BC hospitality industry since 2019, taking 6-7 shifts a week as he is the main supporter for the family (mother and three siblings back home). He was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on December 27, 2022. In February started an intense chemotherapy regime as an outpatient, (sometimes 4-5 chemotherapy treatments per week), travelling from Coquitlam to Vancouver General Hospital scheduled until the end of July. After that, he will go for “maintenance” treatments for another year. He currently lives with a younger cousin who is a full-time student. The BCHF supported the applicant with funds to cover treatment costs and living expenses until July/August when he can return to work.
Restaurant – Assistant General Manager – Vancouver. A 32-year-old assistant to the General Manager was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia in March 2022. He received a stem cell transplant on June 2022, but a mass was discovered in his lungs at Christmas 2022 when he continued his chemotherapy. During the review by BCHF, the applicant was informed by the hospital that the cancer is terminal, changing the request for assistance for themselves to their family. The BCHF has supported the applicant with funds for the months of April and May to figure out how to “close” their chapter in Vancouver, saying goodbyes to friends while regaining strength from the chemotherapy and to provide the flight ticket for their mother to come to Vancouver and help with the moving expenses to Alberta where the family resides.
Bistro – Server/Vancouver Island – A 53-year-old server applicant was diagnosed with colon cancer in November 2022 and underwent surgery to remove part of the colon and lymph nodes to prevent spreading. The applicant had their last day of work on November 25, 2022 and has since been on medical EI. The applicant went into a small surgery on February 22, 2023 to have a small port implanted to help with the chemotherapy treatments that will last treatment at the end of May 2023. The BCHF supported the applicant with funds to cover expenses of the next four (4) months of chemotherapy. With the help of the BCHF, the applicant can focus on their recovery. The applicant is hopeful to return to work as soon as possible.
Restaurant – Server/Radium Hot Springs – The applicant is a long-term worker in the hospitality industry. Her spouse who has been sick for a year, and has not worked during that period, was admitted to VHG earlier this month and underwent surgery for a liver transplant on March 7. As they live out of town they will need to find accommodation for the recovery period. When applied, the applicant was sleeping in her car. The social worker secured living accommodations while her spouse is in the hospital. The BCHF covered the cost of an apartment for two months through the Happy Liver Society.
Restaurant – Server/Lower Mainland – A long time restaurant server out of work since August 2022 suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis and Auditory Psychosis. She receives EI which will turn into a disability pension. Very positive and BCHF has helped to cover shortfall of income for the next couple of months plus some added funds to repay some debts until disability pension is approved and allows her to support herself.
Restaurant – Server/Lower Mainland – The applicant has worked in the hospitality industry for many years as a server, manager and wine rep. She found out about the BCHF by researching resources on the web. She has had foot issues (bunions and a genetic disorder) for over 10 years. The pain became unbearable and she decided she had no choice but to have surgery, which took place on February 6, 2023. She will be unable to work following the surgery until at least the end of May and then only part time. The BCHF supporter her with shortfall of income for expenses until June when she is able to return to work.
Hotel – Cook/Vancouver Island – The applicant is a 54 year old single male who has worked in the Hospitality Industry for many years. He has been diagnosed and treated for stomach cancer. He stopped work in May 2022 and since then has undergone surgery. In January 2023 he had 80% of his stomach removed. Currently he is undergoing chemotherapy to ensure the cancer is eradicated. With last treatment over in May, he is hopeful to return to work in 3 months and the BCHF has supported him with funds to cover expenses for 3 months until he returns to work.
Bar/Lower Mainland – The applicant is a 30 year old male who works as a Lounge bar tender and as a dancer. While training he dislocated his leg (May), suffered a leg fracture and tore 3 ligaments. It will take 3 surgeries (1 every 3 months) starting in June, for him to be back walking unassisted. He hopes to be able to start light duties in August and in the meantime will look for work which he can do from home. A friend launched a Go Fund me campaign which raised just over $5000. He is very positive about his situation and would be grateful for any support. The applicant is very optimistic that he will make it through this tough period The BCHF provided funds to cover June expenses plus July and August monthly shortfall until he is able to return to work.
Distillery/Lower Mainland – The applicant is a 40 year old who was diagnosed with acute leukemia in July 2022 had a stem cell transplant in December 2022 with the indication that he could not work for 365 days after the transplant. In April 2023 during a follow up visit with the doctor he was told that the cancer returned with months to live. The BCHF supported him with funds to cover shortfall income for the next 3 months plus funds to cover ancillary medical expenses to make his last days a bit more comfortable by relieving some financial stress.
Restaurant/Lower Mainland – A 36 year old worker who had an accident resulting in him rupturing his Achilles tendon. Planning on finding work from home while he recovers and may set a go fund me campaign as his family cannot help him. The BCHF supported him with shortfall of expenses for 2 months until he can find alternate work.
Restaurant/Lower Mainland – The applicant is a 59 year old restaurant worker. She is married. Her husband works as a part time cab driver, but his hours are limited due to health issues. They have a son with an intellectual disability who has been diagnosed and recently admitted to hospital for treatment (June 14) with acute lymphoblastic Leukaemia. The family lives in Victoria and have had to leave home to be with their son who is recovering from bone marrow transfusion. The BCHF supported her with funds to cover her stay in Vancouver while their son recovers including a couple of round trips for the father to visit.
Coffee Shop/Vancouver Island – The applicant has been diagnosed with Leukaemia and has been admitted for a bone marrow transplant on July 27. Her father will be the donor. The applicant will be in hospital for 3-4 weeks and then be required to stay close by in Vancouver for the 100 days following her release. A caregiver is required to stay with her during this entire period. Her husband will need to work to pay for their monthly costs and will actually be away on assignment during the 100 days. The applicant’s Mother and Father will be coming from Edmonton to stay in Vancouver to be with her. The applicant needs support for her Vancouver expenses. The BCHF will support with the costs to cover rental accommodation for the next month.