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Help More Patients Like Henry Access the Medical Care They Need

Registered Name: HOPE AIR

Business No: 119042299RR0001

Help More Patients Like Henry Access the Medical Care They Need

Why Donate to Hope Air?

Nine-year-old Henry needs to travel to the B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver every three months for the next four years. The catch is, him and his mom Bristol live in Kelowna, and driving this distance is a ten-hour return trip. 

Now, road trips are one thing when you have a guitar, a cooler full of snacks, and a fun group of friends. But the trips for Henry are wrought with apprehension on the trip west to the coast, and pale exhaustion on the ride home. 

Henry has scoliosis, which is curving of the spine, and rods running up his back that need to be adjusted quarterly. And cancer. Henry requires ongoing chemotherapy treatment for a rare form of Leukemia.  

Bristol knew instinctively that something was wrong with her son the day he complained of being too tired to go outside to play with his friends. He was usually so energetic, but on that day, Henry looked pale and had lost his appetite. She tried to get him to eat his favourite foods to get his strength up but nothing appealed to him.  

Bristol’s first thought was that he probably had low iron or a sluggish thyroid, and needed vitamins or medicine to correct it, so she took him to a walk-in clinic to have him assessed. However, the doctor who saw Henry instructed Bristol to take him to the Kelowna General Hospital right away, so they could take a blood sample and run some tests.  

The trip to the hospital was a blur. Bristol can remember asking herself a million questions, including if she had fed him enough vegetables. But Henry’s diagnosis was much bigger than a carrot or celery deficiency.  Bristol remembers the pediatrician calling her into a private room and telling her that her beautiful 9 year old son had Leukemia. Henry was given an emergency blood transfusion and airlifted the next morning to B.C. Children’s Hospital. 

They learned, while in Vancouver, that Henry’s form of “A.L.L. Leukemia” has a higher survival rate for his age bracket, when it has not yet spread to the nervous system – which his hadn’t. However, Henry’s aggressive treatment plan required frequent travel to Vancouver from their home in Kelowna. 

It all felt like a horrible nightmare, but emotionally, Bristol had to be strong for her son. She wanted to be the one to tell Henry what the medical team found with his blood work, and what they were going to do about it. 

When they learned of Henry’s cancer scare, they were fortunate to have already known about Hope Air. One of Henry’s grandparents had found the service initially through articles online.  

 Hope Air was first there for Henry and his mom in 2016, to help them trek to Vancouver for Henry’s back procedures. Bristol called Hope Air to see if they could help them after Henry’s latest diagnosis, and was relieved to learn they would. They received another break when the doctors that treat Henry for his scoliosis agreed to coordinate those visits around his chemotherapy treatments. 

Because of Hope Air’s assistance to help Henry access treatment, he is thankfully in remission. Bristol cannot say enough good things about how much Hope Air’s amazingly supportive, compassionate and accommodating staff has helped them. Covering their airfare reduces significant stress for Henry and Bristol, and for many families travelling with a sick child. Bristol hopes that because of Hope Air, one day Henry will be able to beat his disease and live a healthy, full, and happy life.