Helping Kids Get The Treatment They Need

Air Canada Foundation Hospital Transportation Program

Ideally, all life-saving treatments a child requires would be available in their hometown, but sadly, that is not always the case.

“When your child is ill and needs immediate surgery, but in another hospital in another province, your mind is filled with fear,” says Gary Rozak, Children’s Miracle Network Program Director, Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba. “Questions flood your mind like, ‘how will we make this work’ and ‘how are we going to afford this?’ Thank goodness for the Air Canada Foundation and the Hospital Transport Program. This amazing program allows hospitals to help families rid themselves of the financial worry of air fare.”

Since 2003, Aeroplan members have been able to donate their miles to the Air Canada Foundation, assisting families under the most dire of circumstances.

“Since the program started we have donated more than 150 million miles to Children’s Miracle Network member pediatric hospitals across Canada,” says Micheline Villeneuve, Air Canada Foundation Manager. “This represents thousands of families and flights.”

One of the Manitoba families that have benefited from this program is Keely Schellenberg and her son Brandon, whose treatments for Mitochondrial Disease have taken them to hospitals in 4 provinces and 3 countries.

“When Brandon was accepted into a clinical trial in Ohio, we were thrilled,” recalls Keely. “However, without the funds to fly to these appointments I don’t think we would have been able to participate in the trial. When we see the improvements the drug has helped develop, it’s hard to imagine never having had the chance because of travel costs.  The Aeroplan support through the Air Canada Foundation gave Brandon the chance at this trial, the chance at getting better, and the gift of having his family there through the challenging appointments and tests. It’s been incredible.”

The Air Canada Foundation chose the Children’s Miracle Network as a charity of choice to continue to build and expand on their great team effort to help children and youth.

“This campaign is very important to us,” says Suzana Bulhoes, Community Investments Manager, Air Canada. “Once a year there is a campaign where all Aeroplan miles donated to the Air Canada Foundation for a specific week in December will be matched by Aeroplan up to a maximum of 500,000 Aeroplan Miles. It’s a great opportunity to have your gift go even further.”

Every mile helps make a difference in the lives of sick kids in Manitoba and across the country.

“Through Aeroplan, the Air Canada Foundation Transportation Program has not only eased the financial hardship for families, it has literally saved lives,” says Rozak. “The impact of the program is immeasurable.”

Bear hugs to Air Canada, and their customers, for helping sick kids feel better in Manitoba, and around the world.

If you want to donate your Aeroplan miles to help this program visit: