Hannah, now ten years old, is a spunky, high-energy little girl who loves swimming, her studies, helping her mom in the kitchen, and occasional bickering with her sisters. "Normal kid stuff," says her mom, Candace.
But when Hannah was just two weeks past her fifth birthday, her normal world changed in a big way. She was diagnosed with kidney cancer. While she showed no symptoms on that morning other than a bloated tummy, her mom thought she’d better get checked out by the local emergency department. After a few preliminary tests cancer was suspected, so Hannah and her mom were given 45 minutes to pack a small bag before being air ambulanced to BC Children's Hospital.
The first leg of their journey was pretty structured and within walking distance to hospital. Her treatment was aggressive, which required staying in Vancouver for the next nine months. But when the family returned home, Candace needed to figure out how to get to and from Hannah’s follow-up appointments.
"Having a child with cancer is not only emotionally draining but financially debilitating on a family as well. Hope Air definitely eased that stress by taking care of the travel piece.”
Fortunately, a social worker referred Candace to Hope Air. “It was a complete godsend in the months following our return home,” Candace says. From her first flight request, Hope Air’s team kept Candace in the know on the status of her application. “They were right on top of it right from the beginning,” she says. “It’s a worry-free process, that’s for sure.”
The ease of the process and the availability of the flights mean that Candace doesn’t need to worry about her travel costs and can focus on Hannah’s health. “Having a child with cancer is not only emotionally draining but financially debilitating on a family as well,” Candace says. “Hope Air definitely eased that stress by taking care of the travel piece.”