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Jayden Kelowna, BC


Fifty-nine reasons to be thankful

Fifty-nine. It’s an impressive sounding number if we’re talking about the number of points scored by a star player in a basketball game, or the number of concerts attended by a single fan.
 
Jayden-in-story-(3).jpgBut what about 59 Hope Air flights for medical tests and treatments to help a young girl stay alive? Now 59 is a frightening number.
 
When Jayden was just three-years-old she first taken to a doctor in Kelowna because of stomach pains and blood in her stool.
 
Initially dismissed as temporary discomfort with fissures that would go back to normal in time, little Jayden’s illness continued to worsen. Return visits baffled her local medical team, and eventually prompted a referral to the BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver.
 
From Kelowna, this involves more than 8 hours of driving, plus a return-trip. This would be a walk in the park for a seasoned trucker, but not for a preschooler with chronic diarrhea.
 
Jayden was far too sick to sit for that length of time and there were other logistical challenges with having to travel that distance: Who would look after her four siblings while her father worked? Where would she and her mother Debbie stay? And so on. The trips would be physically taxing on Jayden and her mother, and financially taxing for the family to cover the costs as well.
 
Flying to the appointments seemed like the only option in their dire situation, but Debbie was struggling to find the required funds and knew she didn’t have much time to get Jayden the help she needed.
 
At the same time, a friend of the family had been putting together a list of organizations that might be able to help them out, and Hope Air was at the top of the list.
 
The first time Debbie contacted Hope Air, a huge weight was lifted off her shoulders. Hope Air helped her through the registration process, and reassured her that she and Jayden would be able to reach an appointment once it was scheduled.
 
“Without this wonderful organization, we just would not have been able to go to any of Jayden’s appointments. I can honestly say that I don’t know what we would have done without Hope Air in our corner.”
 
Medical experts in Vancouver diagnosed little Jayden with Crohn’s Disease in several parts of her gastro-intestinal tract. Jayden’s medical and recovery teams have since included specialists in Crohn’s, gastroenterology, rheumatology, dermatology, and even childhood arthritis, a complication of her initial condition.
 
Hope Air has been a life saver. We’re so grateful for absolutely everything that Hope Air has offered to alleviate stress in our lives when we needed help the most.
 
Since 2016, Jayden and Debbie have continued to travel about every six weeks for infusion treatments, and “normal” looks closer for their family than it has in years.