Irving Oil's Fuel the Care Marks 10th Anniversary

Program helps cover the fuel costs for families who are required to travel for their children's medical care.

HALIFAX, Sept. 26, 2011 /CNW/ - This year, Irving Oil's Fuel the Care program marked its 10th anniversary. Over the past decade, Fuel the Care has provided fuel gift cards to over 35,000 families with children who require medical care throughout Atlantic Canada and New England.

Beth and Ralph Peters of Prince Edward Island were eagerly awaiting the birth of their twin boys when a series of ultrasounds confirmed their unborn babies had Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS), a disease of the placenta that results in one twin receiving too much blood, and the other not enough. Many potential complications can result from TTTS, such as growth restriction, heart complications or even death of one or both of the twins while in-utero. Once a week for nine weeks, the Peters had to travel the 640km round trip from their home to the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. However, after the nine trips, Beth was eventually hospitalized. With Beth on sick leave from her job and Ralph having to take off work to trek back and forth to the IWK with their other children, the Peters were struggling. The family found out about Irving Oil's Fuel the Care program through a friend of Beth's who worked at the IWK Foundation, and put her in contact with a representative of the program.

"Fuel the Care meant so much to us during the time we needed to travel. We lived in daily fear that we would lose our sons before they were even born," said Beth Peters. "You can't believe the relief we felt when we heard there was a program out there that could help us with these expenses."

Fuel the Care is administered to families in Prince Edward Island through social workers at the IWK Health Centre. With many families facing monthly travel costs of several hundred dollars for accommodation, food and other necessities, Fuel the Care gives them one less thing to worry about. "The program has been a beacon of hope for many of our patient families," said Heather Prosser, Social Worker, IWK Health Centre.

Four additional hospitals participate in the Fuel the Care program in Atlantic Canada and New England: the Saint John Regional Hospital in Saint John, NB; the Janeway Child Health and Rehabilitation Centre in St. John's, NL; EMHS in Maine and the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (CHaD) in New Hampshire.

"Many of us have seen how devastating it is for a family when a child becomes ill. We know Fuel the Care does not solve all of their worries when their children face illness, but it does allow them to have one less thing to be concerned about," said Mike Ashar, President of Irving Oil. "Over the last ten years we have received tremendous, positive feedback from Fuel the Care families. So as the program continues to grow, we are proud to offer this service to ease the burden on families in communities throughout Prince Edward Island."

About Fuel the Care

Since 2002, Irving Oil's Fuel the Care program has helped over 35,000 families throughout Atlantic Canada and New England. The program provides fuel gift cards to parents who must frequently travel to provide their children with urgent medical care. In addition to providing families with over $2 million in fuel gift cards, Fuel the Care has also provided $350,000 in funding for research into childhood diseases. For more information about Fuel the Care, visit www.facebook.com/irvingoil.

About Irving Oil

Irving Oil was founded in 1924 and is a privately owned regional refining and marketing company with a history of long-term partnerships and relationships. Irving Oil operates Canada's largest refinery, in Saint John, NB, which is located 65 miles north of the US border and has reached production rates in excess of 300,000 barrels per day. The refinery exports over 80 per cent of its production to the US and accounts for 75 per cent of Canada's gasoline exports to the US and 19 per cent of all US gasoline imports. In 2003, Irving Oil became the first oil company to receive a US Environmental Protection Agency Clean Air Excellence Award, for its clean gasoline. For more information about Irving Oil, visit www.irvingoil.com

SOURCE Irving Oil Limited

For further information:

Lesley Dickson
Irving Oil
(506) 202-3924
lesley.dickson@irvingoil.com

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