In the story ‘ Northern B.C. nurses ride 750 km to raise money for Hope Air’ published in the Lakes District News’ Sept. 23, 2015, edition, Mikaela Pond and Jennifer Miller, both registered nurses working in Northern B.C., had hoped to raise $6000 for the national charity Hope Air.
The nurses have successfully exceeded their goal, raising $6585 from 51 contributors.
The two nurses rode 750 km from Prince Rupert to Prince George in just six days. Their ride started Aug. 30 and ended Sept. 4, with a stop in Burns Lake on Sept. 2, 2015. Pond and Miller were hoping to raise awareness of the challenges that people living far from large urban centres often face in accessing the healthcare they need.
“We are both nurses and have seen first-hand the disadvantages that rural B.C. residents face when requiring specialized healthcare,” said Pond. “Many people go through financial struggle and have to travel 800 km up to over 1600 km simply to access healthcare they need.”
“We wanted to cycle the distance that many people travel to access specialized care, recognizing that the travel is often much longer if Prince George doesn’t have the services,” added Pond.
Since 1986, Hope Air has been providing free flights to financially-disadvantaged Canadians so that they can have access to medical expertise and technologies that can only be found in large urban centres. Last year, Hope Air arranged over 5000 flights in B.C. alone, with most flights departing from Northern B.C. and Interior to destinations such as Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, where the majority of medical specialists are located.
“Hope Air really does a great job at bridging this gap in access to healthcare,” said Pond. “They help individuals and whole families who struggle financially to get to healthcare services in a timely way.”
The money raised by the two nurses will go directly to Hope Air and will provide 25 flights for Northern B.C. residents.
“I have heard so many positive and heartwarming stories about Hope Air,” said Pond. “I can’t think of a better charity for this ride.”