Hope Air flights helps three-year-old and his mother remain in Golden, BC community

Hope Air flights helps three-year-old and his mother remain in Golden, BC community

Katrin is a single mom who has experienced first-hand the urgency that comes with reaching treatment for a child’s life-threatening illness. Her 3-year-old son, Siyam, was diagnosed with cancer two years ago, and Katrin’s world was turned upside down. At one point, Katrin thought the only option was to move from Golden, BC, her home that she loves, to Vancouver. Katrin describes Golden as “Really quiet and peaceful… Things are more slow-paced. Golden has helped Siyam’s healing journey.”

Driving constantly to Siyam’s chemotherapy appointments was not an option for Katrin. As a single mom, being away from work for long amounts of time would have put Katrin in a precarious financial situation. Her only other option, aside from moving, was taking out a loan to finance regular flying. This was no longer a concern with Hope Air, which has flown Siyam and Katrin to chemotherapy appointments in Vancouver for two years.
Roger and his wife Susie are from Northern Ontario, a nearly thirteen-hour drive from the hospital Roger would have to reach for his compartment syndrome surgery in Hamilton, Ontario. Roger lives near Kapuskasing, Ontario, with his wife Susie. His symptoms first began 15 years ago, with intense pressure and pain in his legs and arms that was accompanied by swelling.

After visiting several doctors near his home and in Thunder Bay, Roger was diagnosed with compartment syndrome, a condition where his muscles expanded as if he had done strenuous exercise. Compartment syndrome is a rare condition where, untreated, causes nerve damage, amputation, loss of muscle function, and kidney failure, among other consequences. Doctors did not know what caused Roger’s condition, but knew that it needed urgent medical intervention.
After his first appointment, Siyam was greeted at the airport by staff who brought him toys to uplift his spirits. Katrin says, “When we got back to the airport, the staff were waiting with a giant monster toy for Siyam.”

She continues, “Hope Air is an incredible organization that I wish more people knew about.” Katrin describes that the entire experience was positive and strong from start to finish for Siyam’s sake, and everyone was on board, including the staff at Hope Air and the airport.

Siyam has flown from Golden to Vancouver for two years, with Siyam’s health journey continuing. Being able to continue living in Golden gives Katrin and Siyam the peace to heal and slow down after all that Siyam has been through. Hope Air ensures that they can do this by providing the option of flying to appointments whenever necessary. Siyam is now five years old, and now requires a less rigorous form of chemotherapy to ensure his remission.

Hope Air bridges the gap for young patients like Siyam and his mom, Katrin, whose homes are far away from medical centers, so they can continue to call the places they love, “home”.

We acknowledge that we live and work on the unceded, traditional territories of many Indigenous peoples. We are grateful for the privilege of being on lands that these peoples have nurtured since time immemorial.