There is really nothing worse than being sick, except perhaps, traveling while sick. This is especially true for anyone facing a battle with cancer.
Many times, to receive the best care, cancer patients are forced to travel hundreds – even thousands – of miles to undergo chemotherapy, experimental trials, surgeries, or anything else doctors think will help save their lives.
Some of these patients drive to their appointments or fly on commercial airliners. Long car trips and the hassles of commercial flying are enough to exhaust even the healthiest of passengers, but for cancer patients, it’s like adding insult to injury.
To begin with, cancer patients often face varying degrees of pain, exhaustion, nausea, and emotional distress. Depending on the type of cancer and treatment, patients may also be embarrassed to be in public due to losing hair, weight loss, scarring from treatment, traveling with medical gear, or any other reason.
For those who do opt for flying on a commercial airliner, they also risk their health due to the germs found onboard. Recent studies have shown that a passenger’s risk for contracting a cold or flu on a commercial flight increases by 20 percent. In addition, commercial airliners are not fully cleaned after each flight and potentially deadly germs like MRSA, H1N1, ecoli, influenza and others are all found on porous and non-porous surfaces on these airliners.
Because cancer patients often have lowered immunity due to their diseases and treatments, their risks for getting sicker while traveling are even higher.
Now all of this may sound like cancer patients have no real viable option when it comes to traveling, but that’s where the Corporate Angel Network comes in.
This organization offers empty seats on corporate jets to cancer patients so they can fly privately to treatment facilities.
Based in White Plains, New York, the Corporate Angel Network uses office space at the Westchester County Airport free of charge so that its 50 part-time volunteers and six paid staff members can work diligently to get flights booked for cancer patients.
Each year, more than 3,000 flights take off with cancer patients onboard and each year, more and more lives are saved thanks to the efforts by everyone involved with the organization.
The way the Corporate Angel Networks works is like this: Needs from cancer patients come in and then volunteers work to find unused seats on private flights that will help these patients get to their medical destinations.
When a request comes in, volunteers begin looking for flights that could work for the person in need.
In addition to serving the needs of cancer patients, bone marrow donors and bone marrow recipients can also fly for free with Corporate Angel Network.
To qualify for a flight with Corporate Angel Network, passengers do not need to show financial need. Having cancer and needing medical treatment is all that is required to be eligible. Passengers can also fly as many times as necessary to receive the treatment they need.
Although the Corporate Angel Network strives to meet the needs of everyone who calls in, that is not always possible. However, with more help from the public, more of those needs can be met.
Currently, more than 500 corporations throughout the country support the organization. Since the organization began in 1981, more than 35,000 flights have been coordinated to serve the needs of cancer and bone marrow patients.
To continue meeting these needs, Corporate Angel Network always needs support.
Donations can be mailed to Corporate Angel Network, Westchester County Airport, 1 Loop Road, White Plains, NY 10604.
Donations can also be accepted in the form of bequests so that long after Corporate Angel Network supporters have passed on, their support of the program will live on.
Funds aren’t the only things accepted by the organization. Frequent flyer miles and airline tickets can also be donated.
Commercial flights are sometimes the next best thing for cancer patients and when private flights aren’t available, the Corporate Angel Network will place passengers on commercial flights.
To volunteer or find out more about donating, call 914-328-1313.
Cancer or bone marrow patients can call the toll-free line to discuss their needs at 866-328-1313.
|Posted in Uncategorized|