Schweizer can’t claim to know what really goes on in Giustra’s jet. He has even admitted he has no proof.
But I do.
Because I’ve been on it.
This story involves a girl and Frank Giustra’s plane. One of his planes anyway. He has 2.
She was a singer. Beautiful and just 19 when Frank met her.
Her name was Megan McNeil.
At age 16, Megan learned she had an aggressive, odds-defyingly rare cancer. She was so sick when she was diagnosed, she was initially told she’d probably never leave the hospital.
But she did.
Round after round of gruelling treatment. Indescribable pain. Terrible fear. More than any teenager should have to bear. More than any parent should have to witness in their only child.
Megan had to make sense of it all. So she wrote a song, a gift of hope to others who were walking hard roads.
It was called The Will to Survive.
It caught on. Media in Canada. And then in the States. Katie Couric was a fan. So was a 60 Minutes producer who was producing a film about cancer and wanted Megan to be part of it.
We needed to get Megan to New York.
But here’s the thing. Megan was getting sicker.
So days later, Megan, her father (her mother was ill), Diana Birrell who was the head of The James Fund for Neuroblastoma Research, one of the two causes benefiting from Megan’s song, and I found ourselves on a plane from Vancouver to Toronto to New York and then back again to Vancouver.
We didn’t just hitch a ride. We were Frank’s guests. He made us feel welcome and special, and he took care of us as if it was we who were doing him a favour by being on his plane.
We talked and laughed and we ate like kings. Frank also helped set up a critical meeting for Megan while we were in New York.
Frank didn’t do any of this for any kind of gain. He made it clear he didn’t want anything in return, not even a shot of good publicity.
He did it solely for the reward that comes from helping someone who needs it. He saw the opportunity to do something good. And he took it.
Megan died a few months later. She had just been named The Most Inspirational Person of the Year by CBC News.
Thousands of mourners came to the funeral. Frank sent some money to help with the costs.
I can’t speak to what transpired on Frank Giustra’s private jet between Giustra and the Clintons. But I can tell you about other things that happened at 30,000 feet.
When Frank Giustra was given a chance to use his wealth and private plane to do something good for absolutely nothing in return, he jumped at the chance.
Through his kindness, Megan’s song became the anthem for childhood cancer and the cause he supported made a giant leap forward.
And that’s a fact.