Levi is 10-years-old. He has a rare, incurable form of dwarfism, which prevents his bones from strengthening enough to support his weight as he grows. His condition also has resulted in kidney disease, hearing difficulty and loss of vision in one eye due to optic nerve atrophy.
Miracle Flights, a nonprofit organization that provides free commercial airline tickets to seriously ill patients so they may receive treatment and visit specialists throughout the country, will fly Levi from New Orleans toPhiladelphia to see a specialist at Nemours/Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington.
Levi’s trip to his consulting appointment will mark the 100,000th Miracle Flight in the organization’s three-decade history. Since 1985, Miracle Flights has logged nearly 56 million miles, crisscrossing the country and the globe to shorten the distance for numerous children and adults in need of critical care.
“While we all wish these flights were unnecessary, Miracle Flights and our generous partner, Southwest Airlines, are excited to be sharing this milestone with Levi,” said Mark E. Brown, CEO of Miracle Flights. “He may be small, but his personality and heart are larger than life. He inspires us every day, and we are proud to continue to support him as he works to overcome his battle with Jansen’s Metaphyseal Chondrodysplasia.”
Southwest Airlines and Miracle Flights are theming Levi’s flight as the kick-off to his rock star tour. Celebration participants will all be wearing customized shirts titled, “Little Levi and the 100,000 Miracles.” Additionally, theNew Orleans’ Louis Armstrong International Airport will host a fire cannon salute to the Southwest Airlines flight upon take-off.
“At Southwest, our purpose is to connect people to what’s important in their lives and what is more important than connecting people to specialized care,” said Debra Benton, Southwest Airlines Director for Community Programs and Engagement. “We are honored to partner with organizations like Miracle Flights, through the Southwest Airlines Medical Transportation Grant Program, and share our LUV during such a critical time. Congratulations and thank you to Miracle Flights on this momentous milestone!”
“All I have ever wanted for Levi is a productive, pain-free life,” Dona said. “Miracle Flights is giving him his chance at that. It’s hard to put into words how thankful we are to them.”
“Our 100,000th flight reminds us of how far we’ve come, as well as how far we have to go to ensure everyone has access to specialized medical care,” Brown said. “Every $20 donation made at Flyit4ward.org carries a sick child 25 miracle miles closer to the specialized treatment he or she needs.” – PRNewswire