Hope Air becomes Bonnie's warm blanket through her journey to care

Hope Air becomes Bonnie's warm blanket through her journey to care

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Bonnie lives in the small town of Grasmere, an hour away from Cranbrook. In April 2021, she found herself thrust into an unforeseen battle—a diagnosis of low-grade serous ovarian cancer. The revelation was discovered during routine blood work that showed elevated CA 125 antigen levels, an alarming difference from the norm.

Bonnie’s journey of medical tests and consultations quickly unfolded. The doctor’s phone call conveyed the gravity of the situation “Your CA 125 is at 90”. A big difference to the previous routine blood work completed three years ago, where the marker had been a mere 8.

A myriad of testing began with Bonnie in and out of medical facilities for CAT scans and MRI’s. Nodules were discovered, leading to a biopsy that confirmed her diagnosis—an uncommon form of ovarian cancer, low-grade serous ovarian cancer, affecting only 10% of individuals worldwide.

Her only option was to travel from Grasmere to Vancouver for specialized care where her first operation turned into a complex scenario. Cancer had pushed its way through Bonnie’s omentum, resulting in the removal of her spleen, ovaries, parts of her stomach, and intestine. Bonnie’s harsh reality was trying to survive without conventional treatment for a cancer that did not respond to chemo or radiation. A solitary pill, letrozole was her only hope to block estrogen production vital for the cancer’s growth.

Quarterly CAT scans and trips to Vancouver became routine with no reassurance there would be any resolution to the cancer she was living with.

Bonnie learned of Hope Air through a friend and thankfully, Hope Air became a beacon of relief for her and eliminated the harsh 14-hour drive from Grasmere to Vancouver. Instead, Bonnie was able to travel stress-free by plane with the help of Hope Air client care organizing her travel details.

Bonnie found solace in the compassionate coordination of Hope Air’s team. Beyond logistics, the partnership with hotels, and restaurant vouchers became a small and significant source of normalcy amid the stress and pain of her medical appointments.

Bonnie expressed gratitude for Hope Air’s support. “They are like a big warm blanket that somebody’s thrown around you,” she remarked of the assistance received. “Hope Air has been a lifeline for me, not just in terms of getting to medical appointments but in the emotional support they provide. It’s like having a guardian angel during a challenging time in your life.”

We acknowledge that we live and work on the unceded, traditional territories of many Indigenous peoples. We are grateful for the privilege of being on lands that these peoples have nurtured since time immemorial.