Letters to the Editor

San Juan Eagles turned a nightmare into a dream

Having undergone radical surgery for cancer nine years ago, I was feeling quite confident of being cancer free, and life was good. It became evident this year that this was not the case, and radiation therapy at the Regional Cancer Care Center in Mount Vernon would be necessary.

Transportation for the prescribed 39 treatments presented a logistics and financial nightmare. Outreach support from the San Juan Eagles and local Soroptimist International have turned the nightmare into a dream.

Volunteer flights by Eagle pilots, and vouchers to supplement ferry expense from the Soroptimists on no-fly days due to weather conditions, have connected all the dots to make this an adventure rather than a burden. In addition, an automobile has been made available to pilots and patients for transportation between Skagit Airport and the Regional Cancer Care Center.

Time saved by flying is very significant. Daily travel by flight is usually less than two and a half hours, and travel by car and ferry has been six to eight hours.

Aside from meeting many extremely competent and friendly pilots, the experience has allowed me to fly in high-wing, low-wing, float plane and helicopter aircraft. This has been a real perk for me. There is an old saying, “Getting there is half the fun.” Well, for me, return flights with the Eagles is the other half of the fun!

It is with utmost gratitude and appreciation that I applaud all of you who have been part of this process, and the benefactors who support the Eagles and Soroptimists. This exemplifies the heart of our community through their compassion and pay-it-forward spirit.

Bless all of you,

Gordon Fowler
Friday Harbor

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