Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
CALGARY — In celebration of Thanksgiving this coming weekend, WestJet and WestJet Cares for Kids charity partner, Hope Air, teamed up to help patient Leora Wildi say ‘thank you’ to those who supported her throughout her health journey.
‘WestJet Thanks: Giving hope’ follows Leora, now 23, who was diagnosed with two types of bone cancer at the age of 14. Her cancer treatment caused serious and life-long complications that has required more than 50 trips from her hometown of Prince George, B.C., to Vancouver for specialized medical care.
Cancer-free for eight years and counting, Leora is now speaking out about how Hope Air and WestJet played an integral part in her recovery. She’s also able to thank some of those who helped her on her health journey by bringing them together “for a very special day”, says WestJet.
“This Thanksgiving, our goal is for Leora’s story to inspire everyone to give thanks to those who have helped them through their own life journeys,” said Richard Bartrem, WestJet’s Vice-President Marketing Communications. “By working alongside Hope Air and providing the gift of flight we are helping bridge the gap for thousands of Canadians who need to travel for medical care. We hope by sharing Leora’s journey we can bring more awareness to this critical charity so other patients like Leora can access the healthcare they need.”
Hope Air CEO Doug Keller-Hobson adds: “WestJet is an important and valued partner in helping Hope Air ensure that all Canadians have access to the medical care they need, despite distance or cost of travel. We thank WestJet for this unique opportunity to raise awareness of Hope Air’s vital and important work.”
WestJet and Hope Air have been working together since 1996 to assist Canadian families with medical needs. In 2007, Hope Air became one of WestJet Cares for Kids founding partners. Hope Air coordinates flights for individuals of all ages, with a variety of illnesses and health concerns.
Almost one-third of Hope Air clients report that they would postpone or cancel their healthcare appointment if Hope Air was not able to provide them with a free flight.