The mission and purpose of Angel Airlines For Life is “…to ensure that no needy patient is denied access to distant specialized medical evaluation, diagnosis or treatment for lack of a means of long-distance commercial airline transportation.”
Angel Airlines For Life facilitates no-cost or reduced rate commercial airline tickets for needy patients and their families. Angel Airlines For Life encourages patient transport referrals through the mercymedical.org.
Angel Airlines For Life uses commercial airlines to provide charitable patient transportation. Angel Airlines For Life does not duplicate any of the efforts of any other charity.
Patients use the charitable medical air transportation system to travel to and from distant specialized medical evaluations, diagnosis or treatments. Many patients and their families make multiple trips. Patients are asked to verify financial need and the patient’s primary physician will be asked to sign a form indicating that the travel is for essential and necessary medical care.
Visit mercymedical.org for information assistance. Information specialists will talk with the parents and determine the exact travel need and then refer them to the best type of assistance.
Nationally, scores of patients travel every month through these charitable or reduced-rate means – making it possible for them to get the best possible specialized care and the best chance for life. Angel Airlines For Life helps patients traveling to medical institutions all over the United States.
Parents no longer need turn down the option for specialized care at some distant medical facility for their children due to the lack of a financial means to travel for the treatments.
Every Donation Helps
No matter how much you choose to give, your donation to Angel Airlines for Life has an impact. Your contribution allows you to become part of the solution to the serious issue of access to health care for the less fortunate.
Please help us save another life with a donation that can permanently transform a person’s life!
Will you help make a dream come true? It only costs an average of $.52 a mile for Angel Airlines for Life to provide ground or air transportation to someone in need.
Due to generous partners, 100% of every dollar donated goes directly to program expenses.
A $337 donation provides a one-way flight on a commercial airline for a financially strapped cancer patient traveling from Jackson, Mississippi to Houston, Texas for an appointment with a specialist at MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Ways To Give
There are many ways to give your support to our organization. Here are a few:
Donate Online Mail Us A Check Give through the Annual Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) #47508 Donate Frequent Flyer Miles
Pioneering Surgeon Fixes Baby’s Heart
Life was a fragile thread for Eliana, and her doctors lacked the highly specialized training and experience needed to fix her defective heart. Though her birth on January 7, 2009 was normal, two days later doctors discovered a heart murmur. A remote cardiogram revealed that her condition required urgent care, and she was airlifted to Children’s Hospital in Washington, DC from her home in Hagerstown, Maryland. There, she was diagnosed with a rare disorder, tetralogy of fallot, in which the pulmonary artery is defective; in Eliana’s case, the artery was closed off at the heart’s entrance.
A series of procedures at Johns Hopkins followed, but none was successful, and at one point, Eliana was put on life support. Her parents, Will and Astrid, felt “it was time to change course,” and contacted a world-famous cardiologist in England, Dr. Somerville. She recommended a pioneering pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon at Stanford University, saying, “He’s the only one who understands anatomy enough to fix it.”
The surgeon was Dr. Frank Hanley, a professor and director of the Children’s Heart Center at Stanford who had performed over 600 surgeries to repair tetralogy of fallot. When Will contacted him, Dr. Hanley offered assurances that he could fix Eliana’s heart in one surgery and that she would be completely normal.
Once the appointment was set for January 20, the next challenge for the family was to find a way to California. Will and Astrid learned about Angel Airlines for Life through their church, made the call, and received free round-trip tickets. “We were out there for quite a while,” Will said. “Eliana had surgery on January 27. It lasted for 10 hours. Dr. Hanley is really nice—a humble person. He’s a once-in-a-hundred-years talent.”
Ten days after the operation, Will and Astrid sent an email to Angel Airlines reporting that “Eliana is crawling, kissing, smacking her tongue, playing, smiling and eating twice as much as before.”
On February 18, the family traveled home on a red-eye. “The flight was smooth, and Eliana didn’t cry during the flight. She slept most of the time,” her parents noted. The next day they wrote to say, “We feel so happy again. Especially when we saw a 99 percent oxygen level.”
Angel Airlines for Life is a lifeline for children as well as patients of all ages who otherwise would have no way to access specialized medical treatment.
Cancer Patient Has Powerful Arsenal of Hope
Frank can’t speak of his daughter Calli without breaking into tears. Diagnosed with Neuroblastoma (a cancer that forms in nerve tissue) when she was 12, the 20-year-old woman is still battling her disease but with an arsenal of love, a fighting spirit, and the best medical care in the world.
“I can’t tell you how much we appreciate Angel Airlines for Life,” Frank said. He was referred to the free airline transportation program by a resource specialist with the National Patient Travel Center. When her illness was first discovered, doctors sent her to the top children’s hospital in California, where she underwent several operations, chemotherapy and radiation. “We wanted to find therapies that were less toxic. Some of our options were horrific,” Frank said.
After attending a medical conference in Chicago, he learned of an innovative treatment at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. When he called Angel Airlines for Life, a flight was booked for Calli and him to New York, where Calli began treatment at Sloan Kettering. This consisted of a less toxic and highly effective chemo combo. She also was enrolled in special clinical trials funded by the National Institutes of Health at Baylor and Texas Children’s Hospital.
“Angel Airlines flew us to Houston (Texas Children’s). Calli is the first person in the world to receive a new version of a genetically engineered vaccine,” [for Neuroblastoma] Frank said. He added that Calli had been in remission for four years but said the cancer returned a year and a half ago. During her most recent visit to Sloan-Kettering, “a spot showed up. We’ll keep an eye on it. This disease is notorious for coming back. But we are very hopeful things are working.”
Calli attends classes at a community college and is currently training for a triathlon. “She’s as tough as a combat soldier,” Frank said.