A Hope Air patient for many years, Shawna from Sault Ste. Marie, ON, was recently featured as a guest speaker as part of the annual Give Hope Wings expedition where pilots travelled to Northern Ontario and Quebec to raise donations and awareness.
As part of the expedition, Shawna spoke in Sault Ste. Marie and her story was also covered by CTV in Northern Ontario and in the Sault Star.
Shawna spoke about how she has travelled with Hope Air several times for a number of health-related reasons. It started 11 years ago when she discovered a lump on her forehead. At eight months pregnant, she had a severe sinus infection that had travelled to her brain. She was rushed by air ambulance to St. Michael’s hospital in Toronto for a surgery that lasted 13 hours. Thankfully, her son was born later on without any health issues. Over the years she continued travelling to Toronto for appointments with Hope Air.
She has had an opportunity to fly with Hope Air’s volunteer pilots – she loved the experience. “The pilots are very sociable, very easy going. I have a background in mechanical engineering, so I was very inquisitive of the planes. One of the pilots was very willing to answer any questions I had, and he even let me steer the plane a little bit.”
“ This is a great cause, and I wish more people would donate. It could be your parents, your grandparents, and you never know what the future holds. ”
Shawna says she has also had good experiences when flying commercially. “I have never been looked down upon because of a third party paying for my ticket when flying commercially.” Overall, Shawna has nothing but positive things to say about her experience.