Corporate Angel Network

Pilot Priscilla Blum was taxiing her single-engine plane at the Westchester County, New York, airport when she noticed corporate jets taking off or landing nearly empty. An idea came to her. Blum, who had had breast cancer years earlier, knew how expensive and grueling transportation was for cancer patients who had to travel for specialized treatment. "I thought, wouldn't it be great if we could fill some of those empty seats?" she recalls.

That was eighteen years ago. Today, Corporate Angel Network transports cancer patients - at no charge - all over the United States. The group has access to some 1500 jets from over 500 companies. If a participating jet's itinerary matches that of the patient, flight arrangements are made.

Casey Chapley was ten months old when she was diagnosed with a rare eye cancer. Her parents, Keith and Belinda, decided to take Casey for experimental nonradiation-based treatments in Philadelphia, 300 miles from their home near Pittsburgh. For their first commercial flight, they had to navigate a packed airport, a noisy coach cabin, then baggage claim - trying conditions with any baby, let alone one battling cancer. They spent $750 on plane tickets. And monthly treatment was required.

Then they discovered the Corporate Angel Network. Now Casey and her mom and dad sit among Mellon Financial Corp. executives shuttling between offices in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Says grateful mother Belinda: "We can concentrate more on getting our daughter better, instead of worrying about how we are going to get to the doctor's office and pay for our transportation."

Now 75, Blum still volunteers at Corporate Angel headquarters once a week.

For more about the Corporate Angel Network visit:
Corporate Angel Network

[ By: Scott McCormack (Forbes) -- Reader's Digest -- from 'WIT and WISDOM' ]


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