As an Angel Flight West passenger for the past five years, Joan is somewhat of a pro at boarding and flying to care in small planes. “I live in Las Vegas,” she says. “I had intestinal troubles beginning in 2014. Now, every three months, I travel to see my Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN), Vascular and GI specialists at UCLA.”
Knowing that paying for transportation to her medical care wasn’t feasible long-term, one of her TPN nurses told Joan about Angel Flight West and the generous volunteer pilots who donate their time, aircraft, and resources to help patients reach their far-off treatment. “It would be a big challenge financially to get to and from Los Angeles every three months,” adds Joan. “Financially, that would devastate my family. And driving five hours, one-way, is so hard. Angel Flight West has been such a blessing.”
Recently, Joan played an important role in welcoming a new volunteer pilot, Mark Duncan, to Angel Flight West. Along with her daughter Mary, the two boarded Mark’s Diamond Aircraft before taking off to LA, officially becoming Mark’s first AFW passengers. A few days later, Mark flew the duo back to home to Nevada. “Mark was so excited about his first angel flight, which made it so neat for me,” Joan says. “He made both flights so comfortable for my daughter and me.”
After flying his first mission, Command Pilot Mark Duncan said, “I’ve been given a lot in my life, including a great profession with the fire department, my health and flight training. I love to fly, and I want to give back. I want to help others have an easier time. After all, it’s one less thing for them to worry about and it’s very fulfilling to be part of this mission.”
Thank you for your gift of flight, Mark!
On average, Angel Flight West flies a dozen missions a day and 5,000 missions a year. But this wouldn’t be possible without our amazing volunteers. You can use your talent and general aviation aircraft to help patients like Joan reach their health care by becoming a volunteer pilot today. Visit angelflightwest.org/pilot-page to learn more. Visit angelflightwest.org/need-a-flight to learn more about requesting free flights.