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Friday,  May 24, 2024 2:47 AM 

Families with ill children create memories in Rockies with Rocky Mountaineer, AC

  • Other
  •   11-29-2023  10:02 pm
  •   Pax Global Media

Families with ill children create memories in Rockies with Rocky Mountaineer, AC
(Starlight Children's Foundation Canada)
Pax Global Media

Adventure called for 15 families with seriously ill children across Canada in October as they embarked on an epic two-day train journey from Banff, Alberta to Vancouver, British Columbia.

Generously donated by Rocky Mountaineer, the life-changing trip gave families the chance to let go of their everyday worries and instead create unforgettable memories together through the picturesque Canadian Rockies, according to a press release issued by Starlight Children's Foundation Canada.

Starlight families began this experience of a lifetime by plane at their local airport, equipped with round-trip flights provided by Aeroplan and the Air Canada Foundation.

For 12-year-old Sophie, who lives with hydrocephalus and mild cerebral palsy, the journey took her entire family from coast to coast, starting in New Brunswick and flying all the way to Alberta.

Once in Banff, a special surprise welcomed our Starlight families – a shopping spree at the local Ardene store, thanks to the Ardene Foundation.

Complete with yummy snacks, photobooth souvenirs, and shopping bags filled with goodies, they were ready for an adventure to remember.

For the next two days, children of all diagnoses and abilities, along with their families, enjoyed a breathtaking trip through the mountains.

From sharing delicious meals together to playing group games with Captain Starlight to making crafts with the Rocky Mountaineer team, shouts of excitement and plenty of laughter filled the train.

“It was healing for the heart and soul to connect with people who really understand and can appreciate the complexities of our day to day lives,” stated Jelica, mom of Starlight child, Gavrilo. “Having the opportunity to talk and share openly, for both the adults and kids, was priceless.”

11-year-old Gavrilo was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of seven. A usually quiet and shy boy, the experience gave Gavrilo the chance to simply be himself and connect with other kids who understand him.

With precious moments shared with new friends, Gavrilo found much-needed comfort, hope, and confidence on board the Rocky Mountaineer, the organization said.

“Having that opportunity to let everything go and just enjoy the time with each other was so rejuvenating,” shared Starlight mom, Stacey. Her son, 10-year-old Ethan, lives with a brain tumour.

A lover of trains, this once-in-a-lifetime adventure was a dream come true for Ethan, the organization said.

Between admiring the beautiful views and passing through long tunnels, Ethan was able to share something he loves with the people he loves.

Meanwhile, his brother, Edward, found a new interest in nature photography. On board the train, he was able to capture different wildlife, including a deer, a black bear cub, and two large moose.

Starlight Children's Foundation Canada thanks Rocky Mountaineer, Aeroplan, and the Air Canada Foundation for “an unforgettable experience through the mountains and in the skies.”

“The bonds formed and memories made will be held close in the hearts of Starlight families across the country,” the organization said.

For those who would like to make a donation, you can do so here

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