Cargojet’s Toronto duty manager Ron Byrne and his wife Sarah were recently given the kind of heartbreaking news that no parent wants to hear. Their 21-month-old son, Nolan, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
The diagnosis meant that Nolan would need at least 24 months of chemotherapy in addition to various other treatments.
Byrne also discovered that many of the costs for treatment and equipment needed were not going to be covered by the family’s medical plans, resulting in a potential financial impact in the tens of thousands of dollars.
In Vancouver, a brand-new standup paddleboard donated by Cargojet’s second officer Shray Bhandary was stashed in the corner of YVR Cargojet general manager Lyle Gibson’s office.
“The paddleboard sparked the idea of organizing a fundraiser for Nolan,” said Gibson. “The fundraiser would include a lunchtime parking lot barbecue for YVR Cargo Village employees and the paddleboard would be provided as the grand prize.”
As the word spread about Byrne and his family’s difficulties, donations and other prizes rolled into the YVR Cargojet office.
On July 18, a crowd of more than 400 YVR employees, customers and staff attended the Cargojet barbecue to participate and provide their generous support to Nolan and his family.
“The simple barbecue and raffle we had envisioned turned out to be far and beyond anything we could have imagined, lasting all day and resulting in $14,000 raised,” said Gibson. “In all my 47 years in the business, I have never experienced a community that came together with such generosity to support a cause. A heart-felt thank-you and well done to everyone who contributed.”
The icing on the cake came when Cargojet’s senior management in Toronto agreed to match the funds raised at the Vancouver event, resulting in a final total of $28,000.
A languishing paddleboard and the generosity of YVR airport community employees will go a long way in assisting Nolan Byrne in his battle.
Many thanks to the following corporate supporters and to the numerous personal donators:
Mega International Air Services
International Fastline Forwarding
Flying Fresh Air Freight
YVR for Kids
M&J Logistics Inc
PAC-Rim Air Freight Services Ltd
Global Pack N’Ship Plus Inc
Kuehne & Nagel
Freight Link Express
GTO Global Logistics Inc
William Rutherford Inc.