Ashleigh Prince George, BC

After three years of testing and making changes in her routine to lead a healthier life, Ashleigh was told that she had made it to the top of the waiting list for vertical gastric sleeve surgery. “Finally, they gave me a date. I didn’t think it was going to happen,” says Ashleigh. “I was kind of surprised.”

Her surgery was scheduled to happen in Victoria. Though her mom drove Ashleigh down to Victoria from her home in Prince George three times over the course of the three-year process, getting to Victoria was always something of a challenge for Ashleigh.

“Since money is always kind of tight, it would have been a real burden. I could have relied on my mom, but that would have put stress on her,” she says. “I was low on options.”

Ashleigh was talking to a friend, who told her that Hope Air had arranged a flight for her son, and Ashleigh went to the charity’s website to request a flight to Victoria. When the flight was all booked, she had a path to treatment, which lessened the financial burden of travel.

"I was already stressed about the surgery and it was one less thing to worry about."

“I just felt relieved. I was already stressed about the surgery and it was one less thing to worry about,” Ashleigh says. The flight arranged by Hope Air allowed Ashleigh to get to the surgery she needed, which she otherwise might have had to delay. “I probably wouldn’t have been able to take the spot I was given and would have had to schedule something further down the road,” she says.

Because of the flight arranged by Hope Air, Ashleigh has lost over 100 pounds and has been able to lead a much healthier life. “I’ve been doing great since my surgery,” she says. “I’m obviously healthier and I feel way better about myself. All that good stuff.”