A few years back, Thomas was asked to contribute a donation towards a huge Wheel-A-Thon taking place in the Okanagan. Thomas was unable to contribute any funds of her own, but instead told them she would hold her own Wheel-a-Thon in unison with theirs, which for the past 3 years has been, and continues to be held at the Pomeroy Sport Centre.
“Each year I take my small electric wheel chair to the rex plex and do rounds until I run out of power,” Thomas said. “The first year I did 29 laps, the second year I did 33 laps, and this year I do not know what I am going to do as my small chair has cratered and I do not have the funds to repair it.”
That’s not stopping Thomas though.
She’s ready to use her big chair and says she’s prepared for any hurdles that are thrown her way as a result.
Thomas has also managed to get the Bank of Nova Scotia on board with the fundraising; however, the month of August is already being used by another charity event, so they’ve signed on for the month of September.
That doesn’t take away from the fact that the bank will match any donations they receive for Thomas’ fundraiser.
Donations are also being accepted during the month of August through the Hope Air website www.hopeair.ca.
Select ‘Darlene’s and Alicia’s Flights of HOPE – Fort St. John’ to help reach the $5,000 Wheel-a-Thon target.
Thomas uses a wheelchair and has limited use of an arm, needing a caregiver to complete basic daily tasks. She also works full-time in retail and flies regularly with Hope Air to receive medical treatments in Vancouver.
The Wheel-a-Thon takes place August 2nd, 1 p.m – 3 p.m. at Pomeroy Sports Centre.
Hope Air is a unique Canadian national charity which arranges free flights for low-income Canadians who need non-emergency healthcare not available in their local communities.
Air transportation is said to help reduce the emotional, financial and physical stress that individuals and families face while coping with a serious illness.
“Now if you know anything about our government system, you know they may get you to your emergency care but they do not provide transportation back home, unlike Hope Air,” Thomas explained.
Almost half of all clients flying with Hope Air are children.
In 2013, Hope Air and its commercial airline partners and donors provided 7,090 free flights to Canadians from coast-to-coast.
Since its start in 1986, the charity has provided over 85,000 flights.