What is Families First?

Families First Community Cancer Support is an Ontario-based charitable corporation started by a group of friends and family who understand the devastation created by cancer, not only for the patient themselves but their family as well. We have each been touched by cancer and lost someone dear to us. 

Our mission is to provide financial relief and support to cancer-burdened families in our community. We understand the financial strain that can be caused due to potential loss of income and rising expenses associated with cancer. There is a crisis in this country when it comes to gaps in the system and we are here to do something about it. We know cancer is not going away anytime soon, but we can do OUR best to ease the pain of those going through it.

Families First enhances the quality of life of not only the patient but their family, by providing the little things that help in a big way. How do we do this? Through ongoing donations, we are able to provide gas and grocery gift cards, parking passes, travel and hotel accommodations, financial support for home modications and personal support, tutoring services for either the patient who misses school or their family members, and ultimately living expenses for those struggling to make ends meet and at risk of losing the essentials.

How do we do this? We need YOU.

Who Are We?

Kayleigh Read - President

My father passed away in 2012 of Lung Cancer and during his year-long battle, we were inundated with love and support from friends and family, beyond what I ever could have imagined. The only way I felt I could reciprocate such generosity was to give back to my own community, especially those going through what we had. As emotionally difficult as it is to watch anyone go through cancer, let alone lose their battle, I was completely ignorant to how easy we actually had it. Compared to thousands of Canadians, we did not suffer financially as a result. Knowing what I know now, about the financial burden associated with cancer in this country, it is my goal to bring relief to as many people as humanly possible.

Anne Markell - Secretary

In 2016, Families First officially becomes an entity intended to support families as they fight through cancer.  Like most people, I have been there with members of my family, most notably my husband.  One of the discoveries you make fighting this disease is that it has the ability to destroy more than just the human body.  It takes your hard earned money in ways you do not expect and can take away everything a family has worked for.  I was lucky, I guess, I lost my husband but we were able to manage the costs that come with it.  That is not to say that it did not cost us a lot of money out of pocket, because it did, but we were able to afford it.  There are thousands and thousands of people out there that end up destitute, or worse, because they cannot afford to fight cancer.  It is not OK that people have to worry about how they are going to live if they beat cancer, so quite simply, we need to do what we can to help. 

Francine Boucher - Treasurer

I am a lifetime Stittsville resident who, like so many, has seen too many friends and family experience life during and after cancer. Having lost my beloved Nanny many years ago, I was too young to see and understand the devastation of cancer until I saw one of my closest family friends battle and eventually succumb to the illness. My husband and I have two amazing daughters Cassidy and Danielle. Our whole family is passionate about supporting causes like Families First and this truly is a family affair. When I am not busy at work or home, I can be found at one of my favourite places, Rogers House, where I have volunteered for several years.

Jessica Brown - General Manager

As a Personal Support Worker for over 14 years, I have not only cared for cancer patients at the home where I work, but I also used my care and expertise with my beloved Nanny while she battled cancer in 2013. To see it on both a professional and personal level, I know all too well how this disease affects not only the patient but their family as well. To be able to help those struggling financially as a result of rising medical costs, is extremely important to me, therefore being part of Families First came naturally. I am honoured to be part of a wonderful group of ladies who just want to help others.