(Left to Right) Kelowna residents Bristol and Henry Debowski

New partnership lets Kelowna family save on medical transportation costs

New Hope Air and Airbnb initiative provides patients free accommodation while traveling to city centres for medical reasons

A new partnership between two high-profile businesses is about to save Kelowna residents Bristol and her son Henry Debowski a lot of stress and money.

Hope Air — a charity that covers financial costs for Canadians travelling for medical reasons — has announced that they’ve partnered with Airbnb to cover free accommodation for those same people travelling.

The Debowskis will be one of the first families to benefit from the new partnership when they stay in a Airbnb free-of-charge next week in Vancouver as part of a medical trip for Henry.

READ MORE: Okanagan Foundation supports Hope Air medical care flights

The families’ lives changed considerably last April when Henry was diagnosed with leukemia on April 8, 2019. After Henry got a blood transfusion at Kelowna General Hospital, the family flew to BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver from Kelowna the next day to find out further treatment options.

It was then the Debowski’s found out they’d have to fly to Vancouver for Henry’s chemotherapy treatments on a routine basis over the next four years.

While Bristol said they’ve already benefited from free transportation costs from the Hope Air charity, she said the additional accommodation costs saved for Henry’s medical trips will be an added bonus.

“This announcement is huge for sure. I won’t have to come up with any amount of money for trips. That money saved from the trip can be used for Henry’s medication and food.”

Bristol said the process for getting the accommodation and travel costs covered is extremely easy.

“You give (Hope Air) your specialist’s information, the date and time of your appointment, your doctor’s contact information, and when you prefer to go,” said Bristol.

“(After), they do a follow-up with the doctor, and they get back to you and say you’re approved.”

With the new Airbnb partnership, Canadians travelling to city centres for medical trips are eligible to have their accommodation costs covered for up to seven nights.

Bristol said she found out about the service when Henry’s grandpa was doing research online about affordable transportation between Kelowna and Vancouver. After the discovery, she estimates that her family has already saved thousands of dollars in transportation costs from Hope Air.

“We’ve probably flown between the two cities close to 30 times,” said Bristol.

“I’m estimating that we’ve saved five to ten thousand dollars from the service so far.”

When asked about what Henry thought of the new service, he had a pretty clear answer.

“ I think it’s amazing.”


@connortrembley
connor.trembley@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Rutland’s annual Christmas light-up brings the community together

The event is being held from 1 to 6 p.m. at Plazza 33 and Roxy Square

Chris Griffin to headline Cool Ranch Comedy’s last show of the year

The event will take place at Fernando’s Pub on Dec. 11

Rockets extend point streak to eight games with shootout win over Blades

Rockets’ Ethan Ernst scored the shootout winner

Brain injury from domestic abuse a ‘public health crisis,’ says B.C. researcher

Nearly 80% of the domestic violence victims who reported to police last year were woman

More childcare spaces coming for Kelowna families

The provincial government stated that additional funding will create 68 more spaces in the Okanagan

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

West Kelowna house fire demonstrates danger posed by candles

West Kelowna Fire Rescue says an unattended candle caused the Sunday afternoon fire.

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

INFOGRAPHIC: How much money did your local university or college make last year?

B.C. university and colleges posted a combined $340 million surplus in 2018/19

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

Slippery sections reported on Okanagan and Shuswap highways

Some sections of the Trans-Canada highway have black ice on them.

Most Read