Morgan Port Hardy, BC
Morgan never imagined facing a diagnosis of stage IV cancer alone without family. A widow living at the very north end of Vancouver Island, she was shocked when doctors discovered the advanced melanoma deep in her thigh in 2016.
“All they could do was cut it out and hope for the best,” Morgan recalls. She was referred to the UBC and Vancouver Hospitals for tests and surgery immediately.
But travelling to Vancouver was going to be a challenge for Morgan, who also had a diagnosis of progressive multiple sclerosis (MS). MS is a debilitating and incurable disease that causes widespread inflammation in her muscles and nerves. Any stress could cause Morgan to seize up, making it difficult for her to walk, talk, or even think. These episodes were frequent and unpredictable. Along with the stress from the cancer diagnosis, it was impossible for Morgan to travel the combined eight-hour ferry and car ride to Vancouver alone.
She was almost ready to give up on treatment when she found Hope Air online. It didn’t seem real to her at first. All she had to do was fill in a form and Hope Air took care of the rest for her.
The compassionate and friendly staff at Hope Air, had her back every step of the way so that she could focus on her healing. The doctors were able to successfully remove the cancer, but she still needed to return to Vancouver for follow-up tests. She called Hope Air again, and Hope Air arranged the flights for her.
This time, there’s a feeling of ease. Hope Air was becoming family.
Unfortunately, the flight was delayed because of bad weather conditions from forest fires. Already exhausted and in pain before flying, Morgan was two hours late to her Friday afternoon appointment. She missed the last flight back home by the time she finished her tests two hours later.
Hope Air’s office was closed for the weekend, and she had no place to stay. Luckily, there was a cancer lodge across the street from the hospital, where she stayed overnight. Early next morning, she left a message with Hope Air explaining what had happened.
I just knew Hope Air would have my back.
Within 15 minutes, Hope Air called Morgan back to tell her that her flight was rebooked. She would be able to fly home later that day.
“It was really amazing, like watching a perfectly fine dance involving everybody,” says Morgan of the collaboration between her doctors, cancer support programs, and Hope Air. “It was the finest, sweetest dance I have ever witnessed. Better than Dancing with the Stars
. It was the finest act.”
These days, Morgan is cancer-free and looks forward to enjoying swimming in the pool to rehabilitate her body. She makes sure to tell everyone she knows about the services Hope Air has to offer to patients who might not otherwise get treatment because of travel costs.
“This journey has made me discover so many people who are willing to help. There is no place for panic and worry. I would not have been where I am today, had it not been for Hope Air.”