In 2011, Miranda Lanouette had an ATV accident that required the STARS air ambulance and she says if not for that organization, she would not be here to share her story.
"We were out in a very remote area that didn't have a lot of cell phone access or access by ground ambulance" Lanouette recalls. "A ground ambulance did come but they had a really hard time getting to me. I had suffered a spinal cord injury so moving me was very dangerous. We didn't actually have STARS in Manitoba at the time, they were here doing flood relief. So luckily they were in the area and they were able to land within 100 feet of me along a trail and were able to get me out of there."
Lanouette admits things could have gone very tragically if not for STARS.
"I probably wouldn't be talking to you, to be very honest. The time difference in the transportation from where I was to the hospital... even getting out of that trail on a backboard on an ATV, the chances of survival was so slim just because of the danger of movement, I wouldn't be talking. I wouldn't be with my kids. I wouldn't be with the rest of my family or my partner. You can't put a price on that, you can't thank them enough. You can't do enough for that organization to thank them for the things that they do. They're an absolute lifeline. They are the difference between life and death."
For a STARS VIP like Lanouette, the reasons for helping raise donations are easy, but she adds you may be surprised the people in your life that have been impacted by STARS.
"If you have not been affected personally, there's a good chance someone you know has. It could be your friends, your friend's family, your neighbor... someone you know has been saved by STARS. It 100% saves people's lives. You see it in the air and it's bitter sweet. You think that someone is really hurt but thankfully, STARS is on the way because they can make the difference. It doesn't have to be life or death, it can be totally life-changing because of the severity of someone's injury or the depth of someone's recovery. It saves so much time. Whether you've personally used STARS or not, you probably know someone who's used it and that person may still be here today because of it."