Often when a person is diagnosed with cancer or a rare illness, it comes out of nowhere. No one is ever really prepared for it and if available, the treatment can be difficult. Not just the procedure, but getting to the hospital or treatment center can be a huge challenge all on it’s own.
For Sharon, who needed to travel from Jacksonville to New York for treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Her first few trips were grueling and expensive. She quickly realized that the cost and burden of commercial flights was going to be difficult, but add to that all the other costs associated with treatment, like food, hotels, parking, etc. and it was becoming impossible for Sharon to handle.
In addition, flying a commercial airline with her type of cancer had multiple hurdles. Going through security in a wheel chair, being held up for searches and then when she finally boarded the plane, she would have to wipe everything down in her area with disinfectant wipes. This is before she even started her treatment!
Please donate today and help missions like this continue.
PALS began its mission to provide free medical, compassion and veteran flights back in 2010. It was the dream of our founders, who as pilots felt their skills and resources could help people with free air transportation for medical treatments.
That initial inspiration and the first PALS flight has now grown to over 25,000 flights for over 2,300 families and an astounding 5.4 million miles flown. Quite an accomplishment for a free air travel organization a little over 10 years old.
Over the years and over many missions, we’re honored and humbled to hear how many lives we’ve been able to impact. Often times when a person is diagnosed with a life-changing illness, the care they need is inaccessible by car due to the repeat trips and length of each trip. When these families and individuals reach out to PALS, our team of volunteer pilots and mission coordinators go to work to make free travel to a medical facility or hospital possible. The stories we hear and those that our patients send us are all the reward we need.