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

Jessica comes home

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

Non-certified teachers help fill shortage in Hazelton

Six non-certified teachers hired to help fill 50 full-time equivalent slots in Hazelton and Kitwanga

Mobile complaint team coming to B.C.’s northwest

Ombudsperson’s office wants to hear from wronged residents.

Family invites community to gather by Hwy 16 to honour Jessica Patrick

Smithers teen Jessica Patrick’s family say they are bringing her body home.

Convicted animal abuser Catherine Adams faces breach of probation charge in Quesnel

Adams is scheduled to consult counsel in Quesnel Oct. 9, after breaching ban from owning animals

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

Browns beat streak, win first NFL game in 635 days

Baker Mayfield erased any doubts about why the Browns selected him with the No. 1 overall pick

New silver collector coin features Indigenous dancer

New silver collectors coin captures fast-paced energy of an Indigenous powwow

VIDEO: Replica Haida totem pole raised at B.C. park

‘Reconciliation ceremony’ will include SFN leaders, provincial politicians

Several more days before salvage of barge can begin on Haida Gwaii

The barge and lodge broke away from their moorings in high winds on Sept. 8 and ran aground.

B.C. woman with autism has scooter stolen from SkyTrain station

Kayla Polege purchased scooter after ‘shutdowns’ on transit

Off Nova Scotia, a bid to ‘unravel the mystery’ of great white sharks

The question: Is Nova Scotia the second mating site for Atlantic white sharks, something scientists say could be key to protecting the endangered species.

Man arrested after carjacking, collision, pepper spray attacks in Vancouver

Vancouver police say one man is in custody after a chaotic scene of events in the downtown core

Canadian investigator says World Anti-Doping Agency got a bad deal from Russia

A Canadian lawyer says the World Anti-Doping Agency rushed into accepting a bad deal by reinstating the country’s drug-testing program.

Most Read