Skip to comments.Teen cancer patient gets wish to fly (USAF tear jerker)
Posted on 08/23/2009 10:00:02 AM PDT by Islander7
After spending most of last year checking in and out of hospitals battling cancer, one middle school student got a thrill of a lifetime.
Sean Peneguy, a 13-year-old from Bay St. Louis, was diagnosed with bone cancer a year ago. Since then, he has been in chemotherapy and had surgery to remove a tumor from his leg, causing him to miss school and friends.
The men and women at Keesler Air Force Base, a local pilot and the Make-A-Wish Foundation helped Sean make up for lost time in a big way.
Sean and his family were the first guests of honor last Friday as part of the Pilot for a Day program at Keesler.
Capt. Shawn Mosher of the 45th Airlift Squadron spearheads the program.
Mosher said planning for the Pilot for a Day program is very labor intensive and is done completely on a volunteer basis.
Sean was our first child here on base for the Pilot for a Day program and so many base agencies took part in this, said Mosher. All of the work is worth it when you see a child who has been sick and then experience some peace and joy. That is awesome for all of us.
Sean had an Air Force base adventure that he will never forget. As Pilot for a Day he received pins, patches, fire truck rides, a VIP tour of the base, a ride in the flight simulator and was given a real flight suit to wear.
At the flight line, Keesler volunteers gave Sean a hands on experience using some of the gadgets pilots use to fly.
This whole day was so much fun, Peneguy said. I really wanted to do this. They let me do everything and even go to the top of the air tower.
After the all-day Keesler visit, Peneguy and his family went flying in a real airplane.
Local pilot Leland Taylor volunteered his plane and time to help Peneguy live out his dream.
We flew from Gulfport to Ocean Springs and all around, said Peneguys mother, Charlene Hearndon.
The pilot told us he was going to let Sean drive the plane and I could not believe it. He did a great job. He has grown up so much through all of this treatment from this past year. He amazes me.
The Make-a-Wish-Foundation worked with Keesler to make the dream to fly come true for the Bay-Waveland student.
The Foundation also partnered with United States Marine Inc. in Gulfport to make one more wish come true for Peneguy.
Sean spent every special day in the hospital last year including Christmas, Thanksgiving and his birthday, said Shellie Moses of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Sean wanted to do a lot of things including go to Disneyland in California. The employees at USMI adopted Sean through Make-A-Wish and now he will get to go to California, too.
Peneguy and his family said they will probably take the big trip to California in the fall.
He missed out on a lot but he is back in school this year and the doctors tell us he is doing great, Hearndon said.
Baseball is his favorite but we will have to wait a bit on that. He is definitely looking forward to going to Disneyland.
Peneguy said the first thing he will do in Disneyland is get on one of the fastest rides he can find.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Mississippi is a non-profit organization that grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.
Last year the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Mississippi made wishes come true for 80 children in Mississippi.
For more information about the Foundation, including how you can help share the power of a wish call 228-575-8691 or visit www.wishms.org.
I went to tech school at Keesler - we did charity work on the weekends all the time ...
At the end of the day who is left standing...always has been left standing and always WILL be left standing???? Our military. The other creeps just fade away.
awesome story! thanks for sharing!