Hope Air Doug Keller-Hobson in Smithers last week.

Hope Air helping people like Abby for 30 years

Hope Air received $30,000 from TransCanada for northern B.C. patients.




Abby Stavast has been flying Hope Air with her mom Becky since she was five years old.

“They help look after me lots,” said Abby, now 13.

She needs to get to Vancouver twice per year to see a specialist. Hope Air is the only charity of its kind to offer free flights so that she and her mom do not have to make the long and sometimes treacherous winter drive to the Lower Mainland.

Abby said she is greatful that her mom gets to come along.

“If something were to happen, I can always call my mom and she always knows what to do,” she said.

Becky heard about Hope Air through another mother who reached out when she heard about Abby’s diagnosis. She said it was easy to apply online, and she did not need to get into all the medical history to be approved.

“It’s a huge cost savings. I don’t think that we would go to see her specialist as often as we are supposed to if we didn’t have her flights covered,” said Becky.

Abby and her mom were at the Coastal GasLink office in Smithers last Tuesday to hear that TransCanada was donating $30,000 to Hope Air as part if the charity’s 30th anniversary cross-country fundraiser that aims to collect 30 donations of $30,000.

All the money will be dedicated to patients and families flying out of northern B.C. airports.

Hope Air executive director Doug Keller-Hobson was in town as part of his year-long 30th anniversary effort to find those funds and spread the word on a charity he described as little-known.

He has been at his position for 11 years, and was a volunteer before that.

“The more who hear about us, the more people come aware — social workers, doctors — that we’re a resource available, and hopefully companies hear and are willing to donate. Donations stay in the communities they come from,” explained Keller-Hobson.

He pointed people to the website if they wanted to use the service or help out at hopeair.ca.

“We cater to all ages, all illnesses,” he said.

Coastal GasLink director for TransCanada Greg Cano said the company has partnered with Hope Air since the northern B.C. LNG pipeline project started planning four years ago.

TransCanada is also in charge of the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Project that would feed the Pacific Northwest LNG terminal recently approved with conditions by the federal government.

“Most of our infrastructure is in remote areas across Canada, especially the two projects we’re looking at here in British Columbia,” said Cano.

“We have people who live and work in those communities, and so for us it’s natural to support a charity that provides services to those remote communities improving their health care.

“One of the things that we’ve found in the four years we’ve been developing these projects here is health care is really high on the list of people’s concerns in these communities, whether it be here at Vanderhoof, Telkwa or Terrace.”

Just Posted

Telkwa Mayor ‘disappointed’ by Senior Society’s letter

Also at Telkwa council, air monitor grant turned down because of Northern Health restrictions.

NWCC students can now complete business degrees in the U.S.

Northwest Community College finalizes a transfer agreement with Park University in Missouri.

More public students graduated on time

Students with special needs are also seeing an increase in graduates.

Doug Donaldson meets with Friends of Seven Sisters on logging plan

Environmental group discussed concerns with minister, who committed sending forest district manger.

PHOTOS: Smithers Figure Skating Club hosts a showcase

All of the club’s pre-star and starksaters participated in Showcase ahead of regional championships.

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

Body discovered in burnt out car near Trail

Police report a body was found in the burnt out trunk of a 1999 Honda Civic

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

UPDATE: Friends mourn boy, 15, killed in Vancouver shooting

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

VIDEO: Explorers uncover Canada’s deepest cave in Fernie

The cave, named Bisaro Anima, was confirmed to have broken the record on New Year’s Day

Players sought for National Aboriginal Hockey Championships

ISPARC calls for bantam/midget players to register for selection camp in Kamloops

New funding opens for industry innovation

Northern Development Initiative Trust opened new funds, focused on areas impacted by the pine beetle

Most Read