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How to get some rest between Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Montreal after receiving chemo treatments

Per Nicholas' mother


When Nicholas was diagnosed with leukemia, his family spent the first six months of treatment at the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Centre in Montreal before returning home to Abitibi-Témiscamingue, in northern Quebec. After that, they had to go back regularly to Montreal, an eight-hour trip each way. "We drove in for those first appointments, and only one of us at a time could stay with Nicholas because we were both working," explained his mother, Marie-Josée Rannou. "He was free to go home after his chemo treatments, but they took a lot out of him. He was sore all over, he felt sick to his stomach, and he had to sit in the back of the car without anybody to curl up with, except during the few stops along the way."

Then the family heard about the Air Canada Foundation Hospital Transportation Program through Opération Enfant Soleil, an organization that works with pediatric healthcare facilities across Quebec. "We decided to give it a try," said Marie-Josée. "And it was a good thing we did. It let us focus our energies on Nicholas instead of keeping our eyes on the road. Those eight-hour car trips were brutal for him, especially in the winter when the driving conditions were less than ideal. What a relief it was to fly in or out in only an hour and a half." The shorter travel time also meant that Nicholas didn't miss as much school, since he could usually get to Montreal and back on the same day. That reduced his stress significantly. Today, 17-year-old Nicholas is in remission and doing very well.

"I urge everyone to donate their Aeroplan Miles to the Air Canada Foundation and its Hospital Transportation Program. Your gift will make life easier for other sick children who are forced to travel to seek medical care they simply can't get in their hometown," added Marie-Josée. "You can make a real difference for these kids and their families. Thank you for your help!"

Meet Jordan, a 15-year-old boy who benefited from our Hospital Transportation Program after suffering a stroke


In January 2014, after suffering a stroke while playing hockey in his hometown of St. John's, 15-year-old Jordan had to be airlifted to The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto for treatment.

The experience left his parents, Leah and Doug Chaulk, in a state of shock: "Our world was turned upside down!" They knew how important it was to travel to Toronto to be there by their son's side, but their options were limited. "The Janeway Children's Hospital in St. John's contacted the Air Canada Foundation and got us on a flight within a few hours," they relate. "Now Jordan is home and recovering well! We'd like to thank the Air Canada Foundation and their Hospital Transportation Program for taking care of us during the worst time of our lives when we couldn't take care of ourselves."

Meet little James, 3, who has a rare genetic disorder called Wiskott–Aldrich syndrome


James has Wiskott–Aldrich syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that has permanently compromised his immune system. According to Jackielynn, James’s mother, it is through the Air Canada Foundation Hospital Transportation Program that the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital in Saskatoon was able to assist James and her with travel to Toronto to see a team of specialists. The support she received moved her to tears, as she felt she had finally caught a break in the chaotic whirlwind of trying to help her son.

“Thank you very much to the Air Canada Foundation for making the trip to Toronto possible. The specialists were amazing. They know much more about the disease than the doctors back home. They’ve run a lot of specialized immunology and genetic tests to figure out the best treatment plan for him. Because the only cure for Wiskott–Aldrich syndrome is a delicate bone marrow transplant, they wanted to get a better idea of his overall health before proceeding. Words cannot express how grateful I am. You have truly been a blessing to us.”

From December 4–10, Aeroplan will match all Aeroplan Mile donations made to the Air Canada Foundation, up to a maximum of 500,000 Aeroplan Miles. Thank you for joining us, and please donate your Aeroplan Miles by selecting “Donate your Aeroplan Miles” at the top of this page.

Thanks to your donation, other children requiring medical care unavailable in their community will benefit from the Air Canada Foundation Hospital Transportation Program, and their family will not have to worry about the travel costs associated with their child’s hospitalization.

The most valuable thing a child has: their childhood

See how our Hospital Transportation Program provides financial peace of mind for parents of children requiring medical care

The Air Canada Foundation Hospital Transportation Program connects sick children to the medical care they need through 15 pediatric hospitals across Canada, providing financial peace of mind to families.