Katrin and Siyam’s world was turned upside down when Siyam was diagnosed with cancer. For a moment, Katrin feared they might have to leave their hometown in order to access care.
Though Golden, BC, is a quiet and peaceful town that Katrin says supports her son’s health, Siyam’s chemotherapy treatments could only be received in Vancouver. Like 34% of Hope Air patients, she would have had to travel the long distance by bus or car and miss time at work and with family in order to get to Siyam’s appointments. As a single mother, Katrin simply couldn’t manage that. Her only other options were to take out a large loan to finance regular flying or move to Vancouver to be closer to care.
It was an impossible choice. Thankfully, Katrin wasn’t forced to make it. Hope Air gave her another way forward.
For more than two years now, Siyam and Katrin have been flying with Hope Air, and from the very first flight when organization staff greeted Siyam with toys, the experience has lifted their spirits.
“Hope Air is an incredible organization that I wish more people knew about,” says Katrin, who credits everyone involved with being kind and positive.
As Siyam’s health journey continues, he and his mother still fly regularly with Hope Air. This enables them to stay in Golden, where the peaceful environment allows Siyam to heal and slow down after all the difficult times he’s been through. Though he is still undergoing chemotherapy, Siyam’s treatments are less rigorous than they used to be—an undeniable comfort for the resilient five-year-old.
When families like Siyam and Katrin who live in communities that are far from major medical centres face difficult health challenges, Hope Air bridges the distance so that they can continue to call the places they love “home”.