Ava’s parents were nervous about exposing the four-year-old girl to the germs floating around a crowded airport and packed jetliner.
The girl’s immune system had been compromised over a two year battle with stage four cancer –and exposure to something as simple as a cold could turn into pneumonia.
Yet, Ava had to travel hundreds of miles for treatment. That’s when “Corporate Angel Network” swooped in and flew the family, for free, in an executive jet.
Corporate Angel Network (CAN) founders Priscilla H. Blum and Jay N. Weinberg were cancer survivors and co-founder Leonard Greene lost his wife to the disease.
And now the nonprofit is getting ready to hit an amazing milestone in the coming days—booking their 50,000th passenger on a Corporate Angel flight.
The three set out 35 years ago in White Plains, New York to make travel easier for families or individuals with cancer, by providing free seats on private jets to people traveling for medical treatment.
It is a simple idea, but “Angel flights” are a miracle of logistics and planning: “Finding flights that are already traveling the required route on the right day and with available seats, is complicated.”
CAN works with doctors and flight crews to arrange more than 2,500 flights every year. Adult patients are given a seat, along with one other adult companion and child patients fly with two extra seats for parents.
“We hope to bring new corporate partners into the fold to expand our reach and our ability to help more people,” Corporate Angel Network Executive Director Emeritus, Peter Fleiss said. “Our goal is to let cancer patients know that they have an option that will make their lives, and the lives of their families, considerably less stressful during a very difficult time.”
For Ava and her family, and thousands of others, CAN has reached that goal with flying colors.
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