Jonathan Torrens spreads holiday cheer with Aeroplan Miles

You may have heard that a little bit of Canadian holiday magic happened recently when comedian and television star, Jonathan Torrens (Jonovision, Trailer Park Boys, Mr. D) offered to fly East Coasters home for the holidays with his Aeroplan Miles. 

We’re honoured to have been included in helping many families reunite over the holidays and are excited to share some of their stories with you now.

Bringing Mom home

After a devastating year, which involved multiple family tragedies, Gina MacArther, wished to reunite her mom and dad for the holidays.

“In April, my 12-year-old nephew Colin was diagnosed with acute precursor B cell lymphoblastic lymphoma – a 6 cm tumor in his groin. The treatment protocol is pretty intense – two and a half years of intense chemotherapy with all the trimmings.

Mom didn’t hesitate. She lives for her grandchildren and she couldn’t bear the thought that one of them was suffering. So within a couple of days she gave up her job as a home care worker, said goodbye to Dad and got on a plane to Ottawa to support my sister Laurie and her family as they faced the toughest battle of their lives….”  Sadly, while Gina’s mother was in Ottawa, Gina’s 19-year old son, Ian, was fighting a silent battle of his own and took his own life.

“Mom and my sisters (Charlene also lives in Ottawa) were on a plane within a couple of days to come home to support me and my family as we faced the only thing more awful than cancer – saying goodbye to a precious son, grandson and nephew.”

While there was good news – Colin’s tumour was gone – these trips back and forth had depleted the family’s bank account and frequent flyer miles.  They had resigned themselves that they wouldn’t be spending the holidays with their mom when Gina saw Jonathan Torren’s tweet. “I saw that he had already granted someone’s wish, but I crossed my fingers and replied “Mom in #YOW since April, helping her 12-yo grandson w/cancer. Love to get her home to Dad for Xmas.”

A few minutes later he replied, and the next thing she knew, they had exchanged numbers and he had booked her mother on a return flight home in time for the holidays.

“There are no words to express our sincere and heartfelt thanks to Jonathan. The kindness and generosity he’s shown will help make a very difficult Christmas just a little more bearable for our family.”

A holiday homecoming to remember
After leaving Nova Scotia to pursue a career in film, Kevin Kumar-Misir wanted nothing more than to spend the holidays with his family.

“I have worked in the film and television industry as a Camera Assistant….I have worked on short films, music videos, and feature length big budget films in Nova Scotia. When the government decided to cut the film tax credit my whole life changed.

There seemed to be no foreseeable future for Film in Nova Scotia. I decided in order to continue my career in film I would [have] to make a move. In August 2015 I moved to Calgary, Alberta. This was not easy because it not only meant moving to the other side of the country but also away from my whole family, friends, and distant relatives…. While in Calgary I started to search for any possible film work or any possible job. I quickly realized that it would be tough to get work as I did not know anyone”

His one job opportunity on a big budget TV show didn’t pan out because he didn’t have a car (or the money to get one), so he took a job in retail and a call centre to pay the bills.

With no money for plane tickets, this would be his first Christmas away from home. That’s when Kevin saw Jonathon’s tweet stating that he was going to fly home film workers from Nova Scotia using Aeroplan Miles. He forwarded the link to his mom who had been dreading the holidays since she lost her father earlier in the year. She tweeted Jonathan and before they knew it, he had booked a flight home for the holidays.

“This will always be a Christmas to remember thanks to the generosity and kindness of Jonathan Torrens and Aeroplan. Nothing says Happy Holidays like being with loved ones.”

Thank you Gina and Kevin for sharing your stories with us and thanks to Jonathan for choosing Aeroplan to help make the holidays brighter for so many!

One Response to “Jonathan Torrens spreads holiday cheer with Aeroplan Miles”

  1. Tamaya Garner January 21, 2016 at 1:15 pm #

    This is a truly wonderful story of real people, real lives, and real generosity.
    I have been following on facebook the life of this wonderful boy Colin and his amazing family. I think that this can become the norm if we let it. There is so much more pleasure in giving. I wear my bright green wrist band
    ‘No One Fights Alone” Colin’s Army
    with great pride and daily remembrance.