If there was one person who could truly be called an icon of the travel industry, it was Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart.
MONTREAL — With the annual ‘Aeroplan Miles Matching Week’ campaign now underway, Aeroplan Miles donated to the Air Canada Foundation by Dec. 8 will be matched to help transport sick children for medical care they need away from home.
Donations of Aeroplan Miles will support the Air Canada Foundation Hospital Transportation Program, says the company. Until Dec. 8, members who donate Aeroplan miles to the Air Canada Foundation Hospital Transportation Program will double the impact of their contribution, with all miles donated to be matched, up to 500,000 miles.
The program helps children like Beckett, a fearless Saskatchewan-born two and a half year old. At two months old, Beckett was diagnosed with infant acute lymphoblastic leukemia, an extremely rare disese that affects only eight children in Canada each year. Following his initial nine month treatment in Toronto, Beckett needed to return for a series of follow-up specialist appointments that could not be facilitated in his home community.
“Beckett has had 807 doses of chemo, 16 surgeries, 31 blood transfusions, and spent 189 days in hospital. We had to, and still have to, travel and to have the Hospital Transportation program in place to get him to where he needs to be is the greatest gift,” said Beckett’s mom, Kelley.
Priscille LeBlanc, Chair of the Air Canada Foundation, says: “Each and every mile donated to the Air Canada Foundation has the power to significantly impact the lives of children and their family in this country. The ability of the Hospital Transportation Program to help children like Beckett travel for specialized medical care is made possible and attainable through the support of generous Aeroplan members.”
The Air Canada Foundation donates each year on average close to 10 million Aeroplan Miles to 15 pediatric hospitals across Canada which, in turn, provide flights to children who need specialized health care that is not available in their hometown, adds LeBlanc.
“Any time a child and family is travelling to Shriners Hospitals for Children for assessment or surgery, as Shriners we do our utmost to diminish their stress by providing food, lodging and transportation. The Air Canada Foundation Hospital Transportation Program allows us to fly more children to the hospital and this makes a big difference in the lives of hundreds of families,” said Wayne Cormier, Transportation Chairman Luxor Shriners at Shriners Hospitals for Children.
To donate Aeroplan Miles see aircanada.com/Foundation and click on the ‘Donate’ button on the top banner, or visit the Aeroplan Donation Program on the Air Canada Foundation page.