For nurses like Marlene Hutchison, giving is second nature. She spent her career in health care, ensuring patients were well taken care of while helping them recover from a range of conditions and illnesses. That’s why when she came across Angel Flight West while browsing the web a few years ago, she knew she had to get involved.
After all, the world of aviation wasn’t new to Marlene. She earned her pilot’s license in 1976, and even though she doesn’t fly anymore, Marlene says she, “missed being around airports and people who fly.” After retiring as a nurse, she needed to figure out what was next, and becoming an Earth Angel with AFW was, as she says, “a perfect fit.”
Every day, Angel Flight West’s volunteer pilots fly patients to major cities, often from rural areas, for medical appointments — and then back home again. Our Earth Angels play a critical role by driving passengers between local airports and treatment centers. Since 2021, Marlene has volunteered to drive dozens of people to Seattle, Wash. for specialized care, completing more than 123 ground missions to date.
After experiencing her own medical scare seven years ago, Marlene says she’s thankful for her health and aims to pay it forward by helping people travel to their treatments. Her generosity has touched the life of Jennifer from Wenatchee, Wash. who has received 35 donated flights and 24 Earth Angel rides to access her ovarian cancer treatment at Lifespring Cancer Treatment Center.
When speaking of her AFW experience, Jennifer says, “Marlene isn’t just a driver to me. She’s a good friend. We’ve gotten to know each other really well through our trips. She’s an incredible lady and I feel honored to know her and spend that time with her in the car.”
Today, Marlene has taken on added volunteer duties by helping with volunteer recruitment initiatives throughout the state of Washington. Volunteering as an Earth Angel is a meaningful way to give back to your community, and you choose when and how often you drive.
If you live near Seattle or another major city throughout the West, learn more and sign up at https://angelflightwest.org/earth-angel.