Ava Kamloops, BC

In July, when her daughter was two weeks old, Amanda heard two words she would never forget: cystic fibrosis. “I didn’t even know what it was,” Amanda says. When her daughter, Ava, was diagnosed with the condition, and the doctor told them how to treat it, Amanda spent the next hours frantically Googling the condition to learn as much about it as she could; cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that damages the lungs and digestive system.

Two days later, she travelled with her daughter to BC Children’s Hospital where they found out more about the advances that have been made in treating the illness, and what kind of future was in store for her daughter.

Ava was born in the summer, and that proved to be crucial for getting to her first appointments. Amanda could drive her daughter from their home in Kamloops to Vancouver in those months. In October, the winter weather conditions make driving much more challenging. “There’s so much snow on the roads and they are often shut down because of accidents,” says Amanda.

"If it wasn’t for Hope Air, we wouldn’t be able to make it to any of her appointments from October to March."

Fortunately, a nurse in Vancouver told Amanda about Hope Air, so that her daughter can access healthcare all year round. “If it wasn’t for Hope Air, we wouldn’t be able to make it to any of her appointments from October to March,” Amanda says.

These appointments are crucial because Ava, now eight months old, needs to be monitored by a specialist once a month until she’s at least two years old, so that her cystic fibrosis doesn’t do any irreversible harm. “She could get some bacteria in her lungs which could decrease their function,” Amanda says. “So, if she is sick, the doctors can detect it and treat it before any serious damage is done.”

The flights arranged by Hope Air get Ava and her mom to her appointments when they otherwise wouldn’t be able to go. “Hope Air is awesome because they help us as much as possible.”