Being part of Long View means you’re surrounded by amazing people; people that are creative, motivated, optimistic, and full of giving back to their communities. Just over a year ago I started an organization called Give A Mile. Our goal is to provide 1 billion travel loyalty miles to those in need of visiting a terminally ill or critically sick loved one. People can donate Aeroplan miles or money to give a flight to a loved one to support someone going through a very difficult time. So far we have given flights to 22 people and are closing in on giving away over 750,000 miles. When we started this we knew that we would get lots of help and support from the Long View community. In fact, none of this would be possible without all the tremendous support from Long View that we have received.
We want to share with you a very touching flight that was just made possible by the many helping hands at Long View. The flight was for Pedro, a Calgary man originally from Nicaragua, who was diagnosed with stage four stomach Cancer. When Pedro told us how much it meant to have his wife and daughter visit him from Nicaragua we instantly felt his pain and longing for his loved ones. We knew we had to make these flights happen, but how?
Pedro’s family needed Visas to enter Canada. Visas that he was unable to make happen; they had become stuck in the system. This is when Laura Vezer, with the help of Amalia Navarrete (who became our official Spanish translator and go between), jumped in and connected Pedro to the amazing lawyers at IMM Solutions who donated their time and energy to get Pedro his Visas.
After many weeks of back and forth the Visas were secured. As Pedro’s family did not speak English, Laura and Amalia put together an awesome package of letters in both English and Spanish to help Pedro’s family navigate the various check-ins on the trip.
Even though Pedro is dealing with stage four Cancer, his strength and determination has allowed him to keep moving and be on his feet. He told us how focusing on the arrival of his family has given him strength through the chemo and pain. We asked Pedro if we could accompany him to the airport to meet his family. Pedro said of course we could. So it was with a great deal of butterflies and anxious hearts, we all stood at the bottom of the escalators waiting for Pedro’s wife and daughter to arrive. We cannot put into words what it meant when Pedro saw his family. The hug he gave his daughter is beyond words. We believe this picture says it all.
We would like to say a big thank you to all the people who donated to Give A Mile to make these flights happen and to all the volunteers who made this possible. As well, a special thank you to the Long View community who has been with us every day of this journey and, without your support and energy these flights would not be taking place. Thank you so much.