MIRACLE FLIGHTS FOR KIDS

Daily Point of Light # 2033 Nov 19, 2001

Miracle Flights for Kids® was founded in 1985 by its President, Ann McGee, under the name of The Angel Planes, Inc. It began as a small organization of volunteer pilots rallied by McGee to provide air transportation to those in rural areas needing to access specialized health care not available in their home area.

Since 1985, Miracle Flights for Kids® has grown into a national program whose boundaries are limitless. Miracle Flights for Kids® provides air transportation to children in need no matter how far they must travel, or how often. The organization provides flights throughout the United States and is not limited by distance. When a volunteer pilot is not available, Miracle Flights for Kids® will acquire a seat on a commercial aircraft for the child requiring medical care as well as for his/her family, purchasing a ticket, if need be. The ability of Miracle Flights for Kids® to purchase commercial airline tickets when volunteer pilots, or donated tickets, are not available, is unlike most other flight programs, many of whom refer their client/families to Miracle Flights for Kids® for assistance.

This innovative program has, in fact, inspired the creation of other flight organizations, many of whom refer clients to Miracle Flights for Kids® as they are incapable of flying distances or do not have the means that Miracle Flights for Kids® does to purchase commercial airline tickets when a volunteer pilot is not available.

Miracle Flights for Kids® still relies, in part, on volunteer private pilots who donate their time, plane and expertise to the organization. Often, the only thanks they receive is the smile of a child they have transported or the sigh of relief of the child’s parents once they have accessed the specialized care their child so desperately needed.

Perhaps the greatest accomplishment of Miracle Flights for Kids® is that since 1985, it has coordinated more than 25,000 flights, providing more than 8 million miles of free access to health care for individuals, primarily children, in desperate need of air transportation to medical facilities not available in their local area.

Many of the children flown by Miracle Flights for Kids® are disadvantaged or are underserved in their local areas. Many of the Kids are disabled; most require specialized treatment in order to have any quality of life. The Kids suffer from conditions such as heart disease, cancer, cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy, that require such treatments as open-heart surgery, HBOT treatments, and organ transplants. Miracle Flights for Kids® has made a difference in the lives of so many children. For example, as a young boy, Joel was found to have an IGG-3 deficiency in his immune system. His sister, Jenny, is autistic. Joel, along with his sister, was successfully flown from Ohio to California for specialized treatment. For this family of six, earning less than $26,000, with two children requiring multiple visits to California for specialized medical care, hearing about Miracle Flights for Kids® truly was a “miracle.” Many other such heart wrenching “miracles” have resulted from the efforts of Miracle Flights for Kids® over the last 16 years.

Since the plane crashes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, on September 11, 2001, Miracle Flights for Kids has answered the call from several blood services to coordinate transportation of donated blood and plasma. The organization has worked hard to notify hospitals and medical facilities in New York and Washington, DC to volunteer its services of air transportation of ambulatory victims who needed to access specialized medical care not available locally.

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