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

SAINT JOHN, 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.

Carla Chandler and her family live in Westfield, New Brunswick. Her son, Keenan, suffered severe burns in a backyard fire. Keenan was airlifted to the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia and was in an induced coma for eleven days. After weeks and multiple medical procedures in the hospital, Keenan returned home. The road to recovery has been difficult and the Chandlers' travel four and a half hours each way to Halifax for Keenan's surgeries every three months.

"With my husband who, in addition to his work, also volunteers as a firefighter, and myself working full-time we have to worry about travel costs, medicine and the procedures. The kindness of strangers, our family and friends have helped us stay afloat," said Carla Chandler. "At first I was under the impression Fuel the Care was a one-time gift, but was excited to find that this incredible program continues to provide us with much needed assistance throughout the rough times. Families are reluctant to look for handouts, but the money you save on gas is money that goes toward medical bills."

Irving Oil's Fuel the Care is administered to families in New Brunswick through social workers and hospital administrators at the Saint John Regional Hospital in Saint John, NB. 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. "I've seen first-hand the difference this program has made in the lives of the families we work with," said Stefan Mildenberger, a Social Worker at the Saint John Regional Hospital. "It's wonderful to give them some good news during times of such stress."

Four additional hospitals participate in the Fuel the Care program in Atlantic Canada and New England: the Janeway Child Health and Rehabilitation Centre in St. John's, NL; the IWK Health Centre in Nova Scotia; 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 New Brunswick."

About Fuel the Care

Since 2002, Irving Oil's Fuel the Care program has helped nearly 35,000 families with seriously ill children 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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