Flight Log

Resources and Stories from Angel Flight West.

National Cancer Survivors Day: Meet AFW Passenger Cheryl

As part of National Cancer Survivors Month, June 2 is National Cancer Survivors Day (NCSD). According to the NCSD Foundation, it’s a day of “celebration for those who have survived, an inspiration for those recently diagnosed, a gathering of support for families, and an outreach to the community.”

AFW Volunteer Pilot Phillip Council flies Cheryl and her companion Brian home after Cheryls surgery

No matter where patients are in their treatment, Angel Flight West (AFW) is honored to offer wings of hope and support. Each day, dedicated volunteer pilots and drivers donate their services to help passengers reach their essential care. We’re continuously inspired by the courage of our passengers, the compassion of our healthcare partners, and the generosity of our volunteers and supporters.

Meet our passenger, Cheryl. Living in Durango, Colo. and diagnosed with breast cancer in 2021, she learned that access to health care wasn’t a guarantee. “I had to leave the state and travel to New Mexico to get a scan to even find out if it was cancer,” Cheryl recalls.

In addition to chemotherapy and radiation treatment, she needed six surgeries during her years-long battle. And, to add to the stress, the consistent medical care she needed was 500 miles away at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center in Phoenix. “You want continuity of care during a cancer diagnosis,” says Cheryl. “You need the same people around you.”

Three years into her battle, AFW Volunteer Pilot Phillip Council flew Cheryl and her husband home after her final surgery. Phillip said, “I had the honor of bringing Cheryl and her husband back to their home after she BEAT cancer! We had a wonderful flight, and it couldn’t have been a better day to fly.”

Cheryl couldn’t agree more, saying, “Phil was such a nice guy and we had a blast going home! That day was the best day in so many ways!” She goes on to recognize volunteer pilots Kerry MacPherson and Patrick McClure for her earlier angel flights. “I trusted them all to take me where I needed to be,” she says.

AFW Volunteer Pilot Kerry MacPherson flies Cheryl and Brian to her treatment at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center

Now, Cheryl is eager to share her AFW experience with other patients in need of donated flight services. “The volunteer pilots are caring and friendly,” she says. “Know that you’re worth it, and your life is worth it.”

You can learn more about requesting a flight by calling (310) 390-2958 or by visiting angelflightwest.org/need-a-flight.

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