A Port in the Storm will close its doors effective July 31, 2020

After eight years of serving our rural and northern neighbours, A Port in the Storm will permanently close its doors on July 31, 2020.

The comfort, safety, and security of A Port in the Storm guests remains our priority, and we will continue housing guests between now and July 31.

Thank you to the many generous donors, stakeholders, volunteers, and staff who made it possible to help people receiving medical care and their families over the past eight years. You have had a profound impact on many lives.

Read the full message from Rob Elder, President and Chair

A Port In The Storm | Safe, Affordable accommodations for critical illness patients - Winnipeg, Canada

Stories - Albert & Liana

Albert & Liana's Story - A Port In the Storm | Safe, Affordable accommodations for critical illness patients - Winnipeg, Canada

Albert was a hard rock miner at Hudson Bay’s Flin Flon mine for 40 years, helping bring up copper, gold and zinc. Most of his career was spent three kilometres below the surface, but he says he loved working underground. “I didn’t mind, a few hundred feet or a few kilometres: once you get down there you don’t even notice.”

Last January he and his wife Liana, a hairdresser, were told that Albert had Stage 3 colon cancer. He hadn’t been feeling well for months and there had been many frustrating trips to Emergency at Flin Flon’s General Hospital. They would later be told he also had a brain tumour. It was hard news. But when the couple flew to Winnipeg for an MRI, staying two nights in a hotel, they discovered another distressing aspect.

Doctors were recommending weeks of chemotherapy and radiation treatments for Albert, all in Winnipeg. The cost of staying in a hotel and eating in restaurants would quickly run into thousands of dollars: none of it covered by their health insurance. “I’ve always had sympathy for people who have cancer or any medical problem where they have to go somewhere else,” says Liana. “But now I have complete empathy, because nobody tells you all the things that come with it.”

Luckily, one of Albert’s nurses suggested they check out A Port in the Storm. They’d never heard of us, but after returning home and looking at our website they decided to try us out for a few days during their next round of Winnipeg appointments. When they flew back in March, both say they couldn’t have been more delighted with what they found.

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I’ve always had sympathy for people who have cancer or any medical problem where they have to go somewhere else,” says Liana. “But now I have complete empathy, because nobody tells you all the things that come with it.

“It was absolutely amazing,” says Liana. “I was quite shocked when we walked in and got this nice big apartment for $58 a night!” Albert agrees, adding “You go in there and it’s all updated and you get your own place and it’s very nice and quiet. It’s just a beautiful place.” Being centrally located was a plus, too – Albert’s three different specialists were all located within 10 minutes of The Port. And having a full kitchen in their suite meant Liana could prepare Albert’s special diet of nutritious soups and blenderized foods herself. So when the call came later that month to schedule a five-week course of treatments they immediately booked with us again.

Liana says she’s particularly grateful for our understanding and compassionate staff. “People like Judy, who was just a lifesaver in so many ways. She was so kind; always ready to help me out and go the extra mile. Even if it was just to have a cup of coffee with me and talk while Albert was sleeping – it helped me get through.” She was also pleased (and relieved) to find our fees were covered by their insurance.

Back at home for now, Albert and Liana says they’re spreading the word about The Port. “I try to tell everybody,” says Liana. “People like us coming from the North to stay in the city – right away your paycheck is cut to nothing.” She adds, “And that’s when you need it the most, right?”