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Flight #154

Family To Be Together With Father Battling Cancer

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Flights of Compassion Required: 6

Travel Loyalty Points Required: 150,000

Points Raised: 150,000

Points to go: 0

My name is Kelly, I am a wife of 23 years to my partner Philip. We have four children together Andy, Rosie, Matthew, and Simon.  We are from Nova Scotia but moved to Ontario due to the declining economics in our community. We started to raise a family in Ontario where we have our family home but again the economy took a hit and we made the decision to move to Alberta. 

In 2012 my husband accepted a great job in Alberta and the four children (one with a health related disability) and I remained in Ontario to sell the family home and finish the school year.

Unfortunately our home did not sell. We reduced our price five times – close to just walking away from what once was our dream home. Without the sale of our home complete we were financially unable to make the move. This involuntarily separated us as a family. My husband would come visit every three to six months. Two and a half years passed.

We held on to our dream and commitment to each other but could not overcome the financial burden upon us. My husband missed us terribly and our children and I missed him. We were all under an enormous amount of stress.

On June 22, 2014 we got a call from the U of A hospital in Edmonton explaining that my husband Philip was very sick with acute leukemia and would not likely make five days.

The kids and I got on the next flight to be by his side. My husband has made it past the five days and it’s now almost two years. We have had to remain in this province (Alberta) even though our home still remains in Ontario because the costs of the cancer medication for my husband to get well are covered by Alberta and not so in Ontario. Also, we were remaining optimistic that we could overcome these challenges and move forward in good time.

In our two years here, we have endured much. We are still seeking proper housing as we cannot afford to support ourselves without my husbands income which has now been lost due to his health. We have exhausted our credit and I am now working three jobs as a health care aid to try and barely hang on until we can somehow find a better more sustainable way. 

In the two years here our daughter became critically ill with anorexia as a new symptom of a bigger auto immune brain encephalitis illness that she previously was undergoing treatment for but left because of her dads battle against leukemia. She was in Calgary children’s hospital and my husband in U OF A in Edmonton hospital, both critical.

Our oldest boy gave up his goal of going to college and instead took a job to help sustain the family’s needs. Our two younger boys held on to each other as no one else was there for them to comfort or guide them. They are both experiencing hyper vigilance and need their family repaired.

My husband has suffered two strokes which impaired his vision and cognition. He also suffers with neuropathy due to the aggressive cancer treatment he received in hospital which affects his balance and fine motor skills.

The reason I share all this is because our family has lost everything except their lives but came very close to even losing that. I feel it is very important that we stay together and travel together. No one left behind, as not one of us has any security in this province. No home, no friendships, no family. No direction of what is to come, only each other and our hope as a family to overcome this nightmare.

Our children at the time of our misfortune were 4, 11, 13 and 15. Today they are 8, 15, 17, and 19. They have been told every day, life would get better, pray, and are still waiting. To separate, I believe would cause great anxiety and perhaps further illness as their belief in hope and a new life coming has been a long time in the waiting.

I pray every day and ask for strength. I am thankful for all my blessings and grateful it is not worse. I feel broken inside as I have been unable to make that change for my family that they do need to be able to re-root themselves in our new life. This one precious gift that I ask for, for my family, is a few short days be able to be by the side of the very people who love them most to say goodbye forever until they meet again on the other side. By being recipients of Give A Mile we will be given the opportunity to cherish some time with my husbands father and mother with our children whom they haven’t seen much of in the past years due to my husbands ill health.