Gift to help sick children’s families

Posted Dec. 07, 2009, at 8:17 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — For families who must travel long distances to seek medical care for their children, Irving Oil’s Fuel the Care program can make the journey a little easier.

On the pediatric floor at Eastern Maine Medical Center on Monday afternoon, officials announced the company’s 2010 donation of $50,000 to the local chapter of the Children’s Miracle Network.

Fuel the Care gift cards will be distributed to eligible families whose children are being treated at any of the seven hospitals affiliated with Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems. The gift cards may be redeemed at Irving locations for gasoline and food.

“Any family going through a serious illness experiences an anxious, uncertain time,” Irving spokeswomen Liza Dube said at Monday’s ceremony. “When it is a child, it is especially difficult. Through the Fuel the Care program, we hope to reduce this stress as much as possible.”

Since 2004, the Fuel the Care fund has provided more than $365,000 in assistance to more than 10,000 families in Maine through the Children’s Miracle Network.

“When families are unable to travel, medical appointments and treatments are sometimes postponed or even canceled,” said EMMC CEO Deborah Carey Johnson. “When health care is provided in a timely and appropriate manner, larger and more costly health issues can more often be averted.”

In addition to EMMC, hospitals participating in the program include The Acadia Hospital in Bangor, The Aroostook Medical Center in Presque Isle, Blue Hill Memorial Hospital, C.A. Dean Memorial Hospital in Greenville, Inland Hospital in Waterville and Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield.