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Charitable organization flies patients 1,000 trips!!!


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Charitable organization flies patients to treatmentsBy Shannon JohnsonFREELAND (WJRT) -- (12/26/07)--Wednesday a Mid-Michigan couple took a free one-day trip to Chicago. In fact, they fly to the Windy City for free every three weeks, but their trips are no vacations.

And their free flight is a labor of love.

Tina and Richard Hurbst make frequent trips to the Chicago area for Richard's chemotherapy treatments. Thanks to an organization called Wings of Mercy, they make the trip once every three weeks.

Wednesday the organization that completed its 1,000th mission.

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If given the option, most of us would skip commercial flights and take a private plane because we just don't like the hassle of the airports.

But for the adults and children who get on the private Wings of Mercy plane, it's not about convenience. It's about quality of life.

Just ask the Hurbstses, who used to drive to Chicago every three weeks to get treatment for Richard's lung cancer.

"We were down to our last nickels," he said.

Plus, they would have to stay two to three days. But now the Wings of Mercy organization flies them out for free in one hour.

"This way it's a one-day trip," Richard said. "They wait for us. It's wonderful."

"You sleep in your own bed in your own house," Tina said. "It's wonderful."

Improving a patient's quality of life by getting them to specialized treatments that are far away is the point of this all-volunteer organization.

Wings of Mercy helps to ease the economic burden of illness and helps level the playing field for quality treatments.

The organization was started in early 1996 by a group of Mid-Michigan pilots. Richard and his wife were the organization's 1,000th flight, and three's room for more.

Wings of Mercy has flown more than 190 patients more than 671,000 miles. That's the equivalent to a round trip to the moon.

To find out more about this charitable organization, click here.

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