Dr. Roberta Bondar announced as Patron of Give Hope Wings

Windsor, ON – June 29, 2017  Roberta Bondar, OC O.Ont MD PhD FRCP FRSC, Canada’s first female astronaut and the world’s first neurologist in space, has been announced as the Patron of Give Hope Wings, a fundraising initiative that aims to raise $400,000 for Hope Air. Watch an interview with Dr. Bondar about her involvement below.

Hope Air is the national charity that arranges free flights for Canadians in financial need who must travel long distances to healthcare. Since its start in 1986, Hope Air has arranged more than 118,000 flights for people travelling to assessment, treatment, and follow up appointments far from home.

Give Hope Wings is a fundraising initiative created by pilots Dave McElroy and Russ Airey. In January and February of 2018, McElroy and Airey will fly their personal aircraft over 20,000 miles around Central and South America to raise money and awareness for Hope Air’s cause. Airey will be joined by Harold Fast. A second seat in McElroy’s plane is open to members of the public who financially support the project. Click here to see the legs available.

Dr. Bondar’s support will bring new awareness to Give Hope Wings and its goal of raising $400,000 for Hope Air. “I have been a keen supporter and admirer of the Hope Air mission for a number of years,” said Dr. Bondar. “When I heard about this innovative project, I was happy to lend my name in support of its goal to publicize and raise money for this noble Canadian charity.”
“I have been a keen supporter and admirer of the Hope Air mission for a number of years,” said Dr. Bondar.

Dr. Bondar says that her time in space made her appreciate the long distances Canadians must travel, particularly those seeking treatment for serious medical conditions. “To be able to support other people in our vast land, to be able to bring them to medical aid and attention quickly, and to be able to unite them back home again is very important to their health and happiness, and therefore to the health and happiness of the whole country,” said Dr. Bondar.

“We are humbled and honored to have Dr. Bondar onboard as our patron,” said McElroy. “We’ve set an ambitious goal of raising more than $400,000 for Hope Air. We will take 60 days to do our continental orbit - which is about 59 days and 23 hours longer than she spent covering the same distance a few years back.”

In 2016, Hope Air arranged 11,488 flights for people who required specialist care far from home. “We should all be able to access the healthcare we need. Give Hope Wings will have an enormous impact on so many families who are trying to make ends meet while dealing with serious health issues. Dr. Bondar’s patronage of this endeavor adds a new level of visibility to this important cause,” said Doug Keller-Hobson, Executive Director of Hope Air.

Posted on: Jun 29 2017