In Pictures: Metro hops aboard a Telus Santa Flight – Metro US

In Pictures: Metro hops aboard a Telus Santa Flight

It wasn’t quite a ride in Santa’s sleigh, but it was pretty close.

Families coping with illness journeyed out of the hospital for a day to explore Calgary from the sky alongside jolly old St. Nick as part of the annual Telus Santa Flights event.

The flight left Lethbridge father Steve Hirlehey beaming. His nine-year-old daughter Madison is currently in hospital battling complications from a bone marrow transplant, but was granted a day pass.

“They wanted to get her lungs working a little bit so they thought this would be a good opportunity to get out,” he said. “It’s just great.”

The Hirlehey family has been using services at the Ronald McDonald House for more than four years. The organization provides accommodation for out-of-town families whose children are receiving treatment in hospital.

Representative Kelly Knight said it’s important to give families a chance to enjoy themselves during the holiday season.

“Being able to do this is just an experience they will never forget,” she said.

“It brings a smile to their faces. It’s incredibly heartwarming.”