Well as a young’un, I had dreams of flying a Boeing 727 for American Airlines. Way back then you could sit up front in the cockpit on the layover and chat with the crew. It was fun talking to them, quizzing them on the whys and how-comes of flying. It was even more fun showing them that I knew my way around the cockpit, could read charts and even knew procedures. I knew that my s**t didn’t stink when they let me read the checklists until we pushed back from the gate.
As I got older and when through this kick in the crotch called LIFE, new job, job loss, bills, living as a 20 year old, fighting for my medical, then a baby, I had to postpone for a looooooong time my dreams. Then, I had 2 transplant surgeries.
So, here I am, 30 years later and unable to realistically fly 73’s and other airliners. But, I can actually do something much better for society.
I volunteer at the Cleveland Clinic in the transplant ward. Pre and post liver and kidney patients light up when they see that transplant recipients recover and are active in life in fairly short order. When I express my interest in flying patients, they are highly supportive and wish me well. Some told me that a former transplant patient flying them would be highly motivating to them.
There is nothing like watching a transplant patient go from sickly to seeing them months later fully recovered and active.
So, yes, my goal over the past year has been to help these patients. Many of them are coming from semi-remote areas and can reach Cleveland in a matter of 2-3 hours. So, to fly out and bring them to the area for their surgery will help them tremendously. Many of them are middle and low income. Not only transplant patients, but other patients need transportation. Angel Flight is filling that need.
I know what it is like to be flown from an outlying area to my home hospital.
So, no, I will not be flying the big jets, but I could be delivering something that is much more important.