My story... Well, for me that is hard to talk about but sometimes we just have to do the hard things. I am looking to go and see my mother who is losing the battle with brain cancer. She has had several brain surgeries over the last 10 years and countless treatments but has now had to go into hospice. I have always tried my best to visit as often as I can but living in Windsor, Ontario and my mom being in Calgary, Alberta it is not easy for me to get there. The phone calls aren’t always enough but sometimes they're all you can do. As a single person living so far away and supporting herself I’m not always able to afford the flights to get there as often as I would like. I would really like to see my mom one more time before things take an even bigger turn for the worse. I don’t want to think back and regret missing that opportunity. This program was brought to my attention just a few days ago and it is nice to see that there are good hearted people out there willing to help others.
The flight hero recipient is hoping to travel to Halifax to see her dear friend Shannon. They met during their first year of college in the fall of 1990 and they shared a very special bond ever since then. They have been through life's ups and downs together: school, marriage, babies, etc. Shannon is currently fighting her second battle with cancer and she has experienced some serious complications that have required hospitalization for the last several weeks. The flight hero recipient would love to be able to be in Halifax to help support Shannon and her family in a more tangible way. Living so far away makes it very difficult to give the kind of help that is needed. Shannon has been like a sister over the last 26+ years and has always been a great support to. Now the flight hero recipient would like to be there for her.
My sister Sylvie has been battling cancer for 11.5 years and is currently battling for the 7th time! In 2005 it was stage 0 breast cancer and now after 49 chemo therapies, 15 radiations, 8 surgeries, countless MRI, CT Scan, x-rays, bone scans, and weekly blood work it metastasized to stage 4 and is now in both lungs. They have given her 6 months to live but she has passed that already. Her palliative home care team is just staying on top of the pain medication and keeping her as comfortable as possible as each day is truly a gift. She is a little more on borrowed time then most. We unfortunately live at opposite ends of the country which makes it hard for me to be there to help her with even everyday things. We were not raised together, I was put up for adoption at the age of 2 and we found each other about 23 years ago. Now we don’t want to waste whatever time we have since we have already lost so much. Thank you for having this program that was told to us by her nurse and social worker. We hope you can help us spend some precious time together very soon.
Parleen was born on November 10, 2016 at 30 weeks and 3 days gestation, 2.5 months early. During our last month pregnancy, we were told the devastating news that our baby would be born with CHARGE Syndrome. CHARGE syndrome is a rare syndrome caused by a genetic disorder. Children diagnosed with CHARGE can often have heart defects, atresia of the nasal choanae, retardation of growth, and/or development, genital, urinary, ear abnormalities, and deafness.
Parleen weighed 1330 grams and has been growing slowly ever since. Our baby girl has overcome 3 major surgeries. The first one was on her esophagus as it wasn't connected upon development. Her second was nose surgery. Her nose had membrane and tissue blocking the back of her nostrils which prevented her from breathing directly through her nose. Her third surgery was heart surgery as she had a narrowing in her coarctation which caused poor blood flow. This most recent surgery was the scariest moment for us. Our little princess pulled through with strength and has surprised us all with how well she has recovered.
We thought that was it for Parleen's journey of ups and downs with surgeries until we recently found out she requires surgery on her airway as she has severe tracheomalacia. This surgery will need to be performed in Boston as it hasn't happened anywhere in Canada as of yet. We are extremely nervous and scared for Parleen to travel as this is a very complex and unique case. We are praying things get better sooner rather than later but also know this will be a very long road ahead of us. We are really unsure how long recovery will be but it will likely be months in a different country without our family by our side.
Baby Parleen will be air ambulanced to Boston and only one of us can accompany her on the plane. Our finances have been significantly strained by needing to take so much time away from work, that affording a plane ticket to and from Boston for the second parent is a challenge. However, Parleen needs both her mom and dad by her side and we need the support of each other.
With this flight I am going to see my mother, Lenore, who lives in Calgary, Alberta. She is the most important person in my life and my biggest supporter in both school and sport. She has had cancer since late 2015, and it has been a very difficult time for our family ever since. It is a privilege to be able to fly home for a week to be with her, as my current schedule as a student-athlete rarely permits a trip for this long. I feel that being able to spend more time with her while she fights cancer gives her strength and helps our family. I am very grateful for this opportunity.