‘An airplane ride of joy’: Boise based pilot set to fly Spokane girl with Leukemia back home
SPOKANE, Wash — For the last year, a girl from Spokane Valley has been receiving specialized cancer treatment for her Leukemia in Houston, Texas. Her family received the news Wednesday that she is now terminal.
To protect her privacy, The American Childhood Cancer Center of the Inland Northwest is asking her to be called Ms. E. Ms. E has one last wish: to be back at home eating pizza with her siblings.
Spokane Quaranteam put out a request on Facebook to get Ms. E on a private jet back home, and within 70 minutes, the group had multiple pilots step up and volunteer.
Dennis Combs, a pilot out of Boise, Idaho will be flying the family home on Friday. When Comb’s pastor told him about the 5-year-old’s situation and how she needed a fast way to get back home, he knew he could help.
“When I hear things like this, I think it’s my duty,” Combs said. “When I have been blessed, God has blessed me. I have some things. And but I’d like to help others who don’t have some things.”
Combs will fire up his engine early Friday morning and fly out to Houston to bring home a family he’s never met before.
“I can’t begin to feel the pain that they’ll go through and I doubt that it ever leaves your soul,” he said.
Combs knows the trip will be painful as he’s been involved in similar situations before, such as flying another child to a Cincinnati hospital to receive cancer treatment.
“When I do these trips like this. I end up getting more of a blessing than the families. This great joy that it brings you, like when we were taught when we were kids. It’s better to give than receive. Well, that’s really true,’ Combs said.
The act of giving is something Ms. E knows very well too.
“One of the things that’s so interesting about her is she’s so giving and always wants to account for the needs of others,” said Leslie Woodfill, executive director of the American Childhood Cancer Center of the Inland Northwest. “You’re dealing with cancer, and here you are wanting to comfort others.”
On Friday, Ms. E will be reunited with her siblings once again to live out her last wish thanks to complete strangers.
“It’s an airplane ride of joy. That’s what it is and it’s an airplane ride of peace for her parents,” Woodfill said.
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