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Hope Air honours Albatros Aircraft with top award

June 15, 2012, Toronto - The 2012 Outstanding Philanthropist Award presented by Hope Air to a member of the Canadian Business Aviation Association has been awarded to Albatros Aircraft Corp. of Calgary, Alberta.


June 15, 2012
By Carey Fredericks

The Hope Air Mission is to arrange free flights for low-income Canadians to get to specialized medical care that is not available in their local communities: this Award celebrates the generous contributions Albatros Aircraft Corp. has made to Hope Air and our client Talia.

In December 2011, six-year-old Talia of Saskatchewan needed to get to Alberta Children’s Hospital to see specialists and receive a bone marrow transplant to further her fight against stage four cancer. Albatros Aircraft Corp. was approached by Hope Air to provide the flights for Talia, since her immune system would be too weak for a commercial flight following the bone marrow transplant. Albatros immediately agreed to help Talia and her family get to the care she needed and, since then, Albatros has gotten Talia to two more appointments in Calgary.

“Everyone at Albatros has been fabulous to Talia,” says her mother Carla. “They make our current situation so much easier – not just for Talia but for the whole family. The situation we are in stinks, but with the help of Hope Air and Albatros, we don’t feel so alone in dealing with it all. Everyone at Albatros has become like family to us and Talia loves to see them.”

Talia’s father recently took a leave of absence from his work and the family includes three other young siblings. When Talia’s treatments continue for long periods of time in Calgary, the whole family is able to travel with her due to the nature of the private aircraft used by Albatros and their generosity. Keeping the family together relieves a great deal of the emotional stress. The physical stress is alleviated with a one-hour flight in place of the 8+ hour drive that the family would have had to do instead.

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Talia’s story is not unique: thousands of families and individuals face the challenge of getting to healthcare each day across Canada. Some Hope Air clients face drives of up to 12 hours or more – each way – to get to the care they need! Winter driving in Canada presents even more concerns. Hope Air has the ability to eliminate the physical, emotional and financial stress our clients experience by providing them with free flights to get to the specialized healthcare they need, but which is not available closer to their homes.

“Albatros Aircraft Corp. is a shining example of the type of support the aviation community can give to the many families struggling with ill-health and facing long distances to get to the specialized medical care they need,” says Hope Air Executive Director Doug Keller-Hobson. “The owners, employees and clients of Albatros share Hope Air’s Vision that everyone in Canada has access to the healthcare they need, despite distance or cost of travel.”

In the first five months of 2012, Hope Air has arranged 2,135 flights – and has arranged almost 70,000 flights since our founding in 1986. This week of June 11 to 17, there are 103 Hope Air flights taking place across Canada, including a flight by Albatros to bring Talia home to Saskatchewan. Hope Air provides flights to people of all ages, with all illnesses, from all across Canada.

Some of the impetus for Albatros’s charitable activities arises from the owners of the many aircraft they manage and who encourage this philanthropy.

Cathie Digiulio from Albatros Aircraft Corp. says, “It has been an honour to get to know and help Talia and her family: they are amazing people. Albatros strongly encourages all operators and fuel providers to consider helping Hope Air with their mission. There is not a better cause.”

Says Talia’s mom Carla: “The people at Albatros have their hearts in the right place and they are so warm and supportive. Hope Air could not choose a better recipient for this award!”

“Hope can be as simple as offering a person in need a helping hand – or a flight,” says Doug Keller-Hobson. “Albatros has the ability – and they use it well – to help families get to the medical care they need. This is why we are so honoured to recognize Albatros Aircraft Corp. with this year’s Outstanding Philanthropist Award.”

Frank Burke, Chair of the Canadian Business Aviation Association, accepted the Outstanding Philanthropist Award on behalf of Abatros Aircraft Corp. at the gala dinner of the CBAA Conference in Toronto on Wednesday, June 12, 2012. The award was presented by Doug Keller-Hobson, Executive Director of Hope Air.