Flights of Compassion Required: 2
Travel Loyalty Points Required: 200,000
Points Raised: 200,000
Points to go: 0
I am writing to ask if you would consider making a donation to fund two one-way plane tickets from Bujumbura, Burundi to Ottawa, Canada for the husband and daughter of our client. The situation is urgent because our client, a 32-year old mother of four, has terminal breast cancer and we have been informed that her health is deteriorating quickly. Her husband needs to come as quickly as possible in order to be with her when she dies and to care for their two young daughters here in Canada. Her family members have just received temporary resident permits to come to Canada on an urgent basis and we are hoping to purchase their airfare as soon as we have the funds. We have already raised $1000 of the estimated $2,600 – $3,000 for the two tickets.
Our client and her two youngest daughters who are 5 and 10 years old, became permanent residents a few weeks ago. It was only when she arrived in Canada in January 2013 that she learned she had late-stage breast cancer with likely one year to live. She had fled Burundi with her two daughters, leaving behind her husband and children’s father, her step-son, and her elder daughter. Our office prepared an application for permanent residence on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, which was approved in principle in October 2014, enabling her application for permanent residence to be processed.
The immigration process has been a race against time but our client is a fighter and has surprised her medical team by living this long. Her last wish is to have her family with her when she dies and this is why we need to raise the money for the airfare as quickly as possible.
Meanwhile, the political situation in Burundi is deteriorating with the threat of a second genocide. Her family there are currently living in dangerous conditions that make going to an internet café in order to scan and e-mail documents to us a dangerous proposition. On several occasions her husband had to turn around because gun fights broke out in the streets, delaying the immigration process each time.
Her daughter’s life has been jeopardized as well. In July 2013, she was kidnapped by a group of men while she was walking to her friend’s home. She luckily escaped without being raped or assaulted, but she is constantly afraid to go outside and will only leave her home if she is accompanied by her father.
In fact, the instability in Burundi forced our client’s step son to flee political persecution and for months she and her husband did not know where he was. Given the race against time this family made the excruciating, painful decision to take their son off of her application, barring her from sponsoring him in the future. It’s a decision that no mother should have to make.
Our client’s cancer has progressed but she has been unable to undergo aggressive chemotherapy in order to prolong her life because it would have made her too sick to care for her children and she did not have enough support. She needed her husband’s help. Now, it may be too late for chemo therapy and so we are trying as hard as we can to bring this family together before she dies.
It is our hope that we can raise the money quickly enough enabling this family to have some quality time together before she gets too sick and overcome with the pain. However, we have no time to lose. Earlier this month, her doctor explained that her health has worsened and that she needs to consider hospital palliative care. We have attached her doctors most recent letter of support as the hospital staff has been very touched by her struggle to survive and see her family again.