Hope Air

How we support

For people who require diagnosis and treatment beyond what their physician can offer, cost and distance are very real barriers to accessing specialized medical expertise and technologies. Gift of flight support from WestJet Cares for Kids allows Hope Air to remove these barriers and arrange free flights for low-income Canadians who need to travel to medical care.

For many Hope Air Clients, a WestJet flight removes the barriers of accessing treatment and takes the stress out of going to appointments. WestJetters allow Hope Air Clients to focus on getting better by providing exceptional service and by going above and beyond to make sure every flight is safe and stress-free.

When Jonah was 18 months old, he was diagnosed with scoliosis. For the first year and a half of his illness, the family bounced from doctor to doctor, until they met with a doctor in Calgary who could treat Jonah’s scoliosis. That was where they found out about Hope Air. Since 2008, Jonah has travelled on four more trips for treatment on WestJet flights arranged by Hope Air. “It’s perfect; you couldn’t ask for a better service,” Jonah’s dad, David, says.


Two weeks after her fifth birthday, Hannah’s world changed: she was diagnosed with kidney cancer. After nine months in Vancouver for rigorous and aggressive chemotherapy, Hannah and her mom, Candace, returned home to Prince George. Hannah would still need to return to Vancouver for follow-up appointments. Hope Air arranged for Hannah and her mom to make those appointments by putting them on WestJet flights. “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.”


After three years of driving between their home in Charlottetown and the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Carla, Jason, and their son Keegan, were told they would have to go to SickKids in Toronto to continue treating their son’s urological issues. SickKids staff told Carla about Hope Air so she sent in a request online. That same day, a Hope Air volunteer contacted Carla to inform her that she was approved and in no time Hope Air had booked two seats for her and Keegan on a WestJet flight to Toronto. “I was completely blown away by it,” she says. Now, the family is back in Charlottetown, and Keegan is doing much better.


WestJet believes that everyone should get to travel for fun, not just necessity. On April 25 and 26, 2014, WestJet Cares for Kids treated five Hope Air families to a special trip to Toronto. The weekend in Toronto allowed the families to spend quality time together, make memories, enjoy the sights, shop, and of course take in a Toronto Blue Jays™ game.

The weekend was filled with lots of laughter and good times spent together, memories that we hope these families will fondly remember the next time they board a flight for a medical appointment.


About Hope Air

Hope Air is the unique national charity that arranges free flights for Canadians who are in financial need and must travel to healthcare. Since our start in 1986, we have provided over 100,000 flights for Clients travelling to vital healthcare appointments far from home. Hope Air is proud to provide all flights to Clients completely free of charge in support of our goal of Getting Canadians To Getting Better. Visit www.hopeair.ca to learn more about Hope Air’s services.

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