The David Foster Foundation
How we support
There are very few hospitals in Canada that perform organ transplants, families often need to travel great distances for their child's transplant and for follow-up medical appointments. These unexpected travel costs can be a financial and emotional burden on a family. WestJet provides the David Foster Foundation with the gift of flight to assist families who need to travel to their medical appointments and helps reunite family members who are living in different cities as their child goes through the organ transplant process. The gift of flight keeps families together during a difficult time.
The David Foster Foundation helps families like the Vandermeulen family who are located in Prince George, B.C. and must commute to the nearest transplant hospital in Vancouver. Logan Vandermeulen had a pacemaker from the day he was born and then upgraded to a larger system called the Berlin Heart when he was three and a half months after being officially diagnosed with cardiomyopathy at the B.C. Children’s Hospital. As Logan and his mom, Veronica, continued to wait for a heart transplant in Vancouver, their family remained at home. After being away from their home for six months, Logan finally received his life-saving heart transplant in July 2014. The gift of flight from WestJet allowed the family to commute from Prince George to Vancouver while Logan waited in hospital for his transplant and continues to fly the family to Vancouver for regular appointments with the transplant team.
In addition to providing support to families, the David Foster Foundation also strives to increase public awareness about the importance of becoming a registered organ donor. On February 25, 2015, WestJet and the David Foster Foundation created a public awareness campaign reaching those guests travelling in domestic airports across Canada to talk about the importance of organ donation. Volunteers from coast to coast came out to raise awareness for the very important cause. A custom luggage tag was placed at WestJet check in counters free for any guest travelling during the month of February.
In 2014, WestJet hosted the David Foster Foundation Miracle Gala & Concert in support of the David Foster Foundation. The Miracle Gala & Concert serves as the main fundraising event to generate the funding required to continue supporting Canadian families with children undergoing pediatric organ transplants. Watch the WestJet hangar transform for the event.
About the David Foster Foundation
The David Foster Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to providing support for essential non-medical expenses to Canadian families with children in need of life-saving organ transplants. Since 1986, the David Foster Foundation has helped over 1,000 families by providing them with direct financial support. In 2006, the Foundation became a national organization, expanding to help families across Canada.
The David Foster Foundation provides support for everything from basic needs like clothing and groceries to covering housing expenses and transportation costs. The foundation staff also works with transplant teams across Canada to help provide guidance and assistance as the families go through the processes involved with their child's transplant and medical care. To learn more about the David Foster Foundation visit davidfosterfoundation.com .