May 31, 2013

The kids, parents and nurses all enjoyed a special flight in a beautiful plane.

Not many kids get the chance to fly a plane, but that’s exactly what two kiddos from Epic’s Addison office recently accomplished at the Collin County Regional Airport in McKinney, Texas.

Gillian and Virgil — aka Lil’ Johnny – participated in Challenge Air, a wonderful program that improves the quality of life for children with special needs through the experience of flight.

And what an experience it was!

Gillian and Lil’ Johnny not only received a red-carpet welcome, but also sat in the co-pilot’s seat during their respective flights. Plus, their parents and nurses got to go along on the flights to enjoy the adventure.

Lil’ Johnny, Gillian and their moms showed their excitement after completing their respective flights.

“Gillian has been going for three years now, and when she gets up in the air and the pilot literally hands over the steering to her, it is just so exhilarating knowing my daughter who cannot walk, crawl or even speak is actually flying a plane,” said Kimberly, Gillian’s mom

Paula, Lil’ Johnny’s mom, also raves about the program. “Over the years, I have seen the pain in my son’s eyes as he watches other children doing things he cannot do. At Challenge Air, he can do the cool stuff too!”

Challenge Air was started in 1993 by Rick Amber, a former fighter pilot for the US Navy and teacher. The organization sponsors events throughout the US. For more information, visit Challenge Air’s website.