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North Van family searches for Santa

On a magical hour-long flight, Santa Clause holds Griffin Martel
On a magical hour-long flight, Santa Clause holds Griffin Martel's hand as his dad Warren looks on.
— image credit: Children's Wish Foundation

Nine-year-old Griffin Martel smiled wide as jolly St. Nick and Mrs. Claus handed him an early Christmas present thousands of kilometres up in the air.

"Even though Griffin doesn't talk," says his mom Alysone, "we knew he was having a great time. He lets us know with big smiles."

Griffin held tightly to the stocking filled with toys, candy and ornaments while his entire family hopped on the hour-long flight.

The North Vancouver family boarded an Air Transat flight on Dec. 4 with the Children's Wish Foundation. Griffin joined around 100 other children with life-threatening illnesses to search for Santa and bring him back to Vancouver.

The fourth grade Seymour Height elementary student was chosen for the flight because he has uncontrolled seizures and is developmentally delayed.

Meeting up with families involved in the Children's Wish Foundation events has provided a support system for the young family.

"We get to share experiences and learn from each other. We have a lot of the same questions," his mom tells The Outlook.

Even though Griffin can't talk, no one could mistake his excitement on this day.

"He mainly uses facial expressions, his arms and sounds to tell us how he feels," says his mom. "There was no doubt he was very happy."

Now it's up to Griffin whether he will share his Christmas present with his siblings Nicole and Spencer.

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