Tag Archives: Angel Flight West Passengers

Spotlight on an Angel – Roberta V.

In my long tenure at AFW, I often meet passengers who I look forward to seeing at the Santa Monica office while they wait for their flight. One of these passengers is Roberta V. of Oakland, CA. Roberta has been flying with us since 2006 and has flown 168 missions. During that time, she has flown with 72 pilots–37 of those with pilot Victor Ninov!

Roberta has giant cell sarcoma, a non-malignant bone tumor. In her case, the tumor is in the sacrum, a bone at the base of the spine. While the tumor itself is not malignant, its growth can cause considerable pain and is known to metastasize to lung cancer. She was diagnosed in January of 2005, and at the time was living in Ventura. Roberta received radiation treatment and was seen by doctors at UCLA. Near the end of 2006 she decided to move to Oakland to be near more of her children. The doctor there referred her to Dr. Chua in Santa Monica for a clinical trial and they referred her to AFW. This solved her dilemma of getting to treatment once a month. She is part of a clinical trial provided through a charitable program by Amgen. The drug, Xgeva, is normally used to treat severe osteoporosis. At this point, they do not know enough about the drug to determine if and when she can ever stop taking it. For now, she will continue because if she stops and the tumor grows, she will not be eligible to return to the program. Roberta said that the most important thing about AFW is the confidence she has that she will get to this vital treatment every month.

Roberta cherishes the friendships she has made with pilots, Earth Angels and staff. She feels blessed to have the emotional support and genuine care and concern that she feels from all. I can say, from my heart, that she always brings a smile to my face when she walks in the door. Because of the ease of flying general aviation, Roberta is able to fly alone without help. At times, AFW flies her to either Lompoc or San Jose instead of home to Oakland so she can visit her kids and grandkids. This allows her cherished time with family that is very important to her.

Roberta and her daughter Mary Beth were guests at the Endeavor Awards. When I asked her how the evening was, her response was, “Oh my gosh! Each time something happened, I thought it couldn’t get any better. But the great things kept on coming right up to the USC marching band that concluded the evening.” She said she was on a three-day high following the event! Many thanks to our Board Member, Charlie Finkel, for sponsoring a table for Roberta and other of our passengers.

As I look back on the past eight years, I find I’m also blessed to have a friend like Roberta!

Passengers’ Feedback

After each mission, we send out a Mission Feedback Survey that passengers can fill out to share their experiences with the Mission Operations Team. For many patients traveling to and from treatment, transportation is a significant burden that could block their ability to receive the care that they need. Angel Flight West pilots can make a huge difference in passengers’ lives by volunteering their own skills and resources as pilots. Below are some recent comments from AFW Passengers!

Adrian – New Mexico

Adrian Duran flown by Kyle Scott 11.27.12

Without your service I probably wouldn’t be where I am with getting back to my life. All the pilots are all so kind and very professional . Angel Flight is a organization of all great people. Your center to make flights are all top notch. Thank you so much.

 

Lori  – Southern California

Hi Angels 🙂 I’m sooo grateful for your flights, ground angels, and your wonderful emotional support. It’s hard to say anything could have been better. It made a very difficult time for me so much easier to deal with. Also, I enjoyed the flights.

 

Pamela – Idaho

I’m so grateful for Angel Flight. I cannot sit that long… 60-90 minute flights are so much better than a 5 hour drive. The pilots always made me feel safe. It has been a great experience for me.

 

Daniel – Arizona

We have flown with Angel Flight West since 2011 and have always had great service… I’d like to thank all pilots that donate their time and planes, they’re my husband’s angels.

 

Noah – Northern California

Noah R flown by Christopher Bennett 3.14.14

The pilots and angel flight program were awesome. Every experience was absolutely wonderful. The pilots were very caring and made us feel very comforting in the sky and as well on the ground. God bless the pilots and angel flights.