SHERMAN, TX-A pilot lends his wings, giving a local cancer patient a lift to get the medical treatments she needs. Victoria Maranan has the story.
11:30 Saturday morning, a Diamond DA-0 plane landed at Sherman Municipal Airport; carrying Sherman resident, Christina Richards, who just underwent cancer treatments in Houston.
"I'm doing really well. They've given me 18-24 months to live 2 years ago and it's been over that now so I'm doing alright," she said.
Richards was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 and was treated in Dallas. But six months later, the cancer spread to her skin and spine. That's why doctors sent her to MD Anderson Cancer Center for further treatment.
"It's a long drive. I have a good social network with my church and so my friends have been able to go with me, which is very good. I get treatment that makes me sick and the side effects are not something that I would like driving back from Houston with," she said.
That is, until she found out about Angel Flight.
"I've been doing Angel Flights about 4-5 years now. It's a really well run organization and the volunteer pilot, we basically sign up for missions and basically help people out," said Angel Flight volunteer pilot, Kurt Hardgrave.
Pilots, like Hardgrave, gave patients like Richards a lift to get the medical treatment they need.
It's free for patients. And pilots shoulder flight costs, which Hardgrave says he doesn't mind.
"Mixing your hobby with helping people out, I can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday morning. And yeah, the people that we help, it’s always good to follow up with some phone calls every once in a while and you find out that someone's not flying any longer because they're cured," he said.
Richards said the effort gives patients like her the wings to recovery.
"Don't stop. These pilots that are willing to spend their time, it's not something that goes unnoticed. It's a miracle to somebody else. I told my pilot today 'what you do changes people's lives' and it's true."