On an average day, STARS carries four critically ill or injured Albertans. On Aug. 31, 2012, Tyson Hribnak was one of those four patients.
Tyson and his grandfather were injured in an explosion during a family camping trip near Pincher Creek. While his grandfather investigated an odour, a propane tank exploded, spitting fire into his family's camping trailer and STARS was called. Following several surgeries and skin grafts, Tyson and his grandfather have recovered.
In November, not long after Tyson was transported by STARS, he started asking questions about the non-profit organization. How much does it cost to operate a helicopter? How much to transport a patient? Who pays for the service?
Once Tyson learned the cost of each flight and that about 80 per cent of STARS funding comes from donors, he hatched a plan to express his gratitude. "I decided I was going to raise enough money to cover my flight, so STARS can help one more family," he said. More than a year later Tyson continues to fundraise and spread the word about STARS.
His family is proud of his recovery and his attitude. "Ty's accident does not define him," says his mother, Karly Hribnak. "It has taught us all the importance of community, giving back and of appreciating the gift of each day."
For 28 years, STARS has been there for Albertans and likewise, Albertans have been there for STARS. The lives of more than 24,000 patients, hundreds of thousands of family members and countless more friends have been touched thanks to our loyal supporters.
Approximately 80 per cent of our funding comes from our local supporters, meaning that each and every person that buys a STARS Lottery ticket is contributing to the safety of their community. When someone becomes ill or injured, whether it's from a vehicle collision, workplace accident or medical condition, it's because of donors that STARS can be there to help.
STARS is the bright spot on someone's darkest day, responding to an average of four emergencies per day. In 2012, 1,483 missions were flown to 239 different Alberta communities.
"If it weren't for STARS, I would not be here today. I credit them with saving my life. If you are sitting on the fence about supporting STARS, don't. You just never know when it's your turn. We are so lucky to have the health care that we do in this province."
"My accident impacted my life, as well as my family's, and STARS has played such an important role. I'll never forget them. My arm, which has the STARS helicopter tattooed on it, reminds us every day how lucky we are to have each other and how precious life is."
"After my accident and flight with STARS my three-yearold son was given a STARS teddy bear which he loves very much and snuggles up with him in bed. My wife says that I'm not allowed to work on Valentine's Day, the day of my injury, for the rest of my career."
To see more stories of our VIPs, learn about what STARS is currently up to, or to find out how to get more involved with our organization, visit our website, become a fan of our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter, or watch us on Instagram.