It could not have been a more compassionate deed your organization performed last Wednesday in bringing our Mother, Estelle home.
The flight went like clockwork. Our pilot, Ted Fornetti, all the skill in the world. Smooth. Flew the Cessna as if it were on rails. Last minute details: Larry Jensen, what a pro. And Charlie, Thanks for getting Larry out of the shower.
On behalf of the Depuydt family, Thank You. You are heroes.
Kent T. Depuydt
Enclosed is a donation to your organization, and, it comes with a story. My niece. Kendra Brown, is a frequent passenger on your airline.
Several family members, including Grandma, Helen Cox – age 82, participated in the annual Grape and Wine Harvest Festival’s “Grape Stomp” held in Paw Paw, MI.
This event is the hallmark of this small town festival! Five people climb into a vat filled continually with fresh grapes from local vineyards. We then kneel in that goo and push, smashing grapes forward onto a screen to extract juice. The ordeal lasts the longest two minutes of your life, the juice is weighed and pounds tallied.
Our team, the Original Grapeful Tread, made it to the finals—beating over 35 other teams. Remember … Grandma is 82! The finals were held the following day, qualifying teams got to do this all over again, only now the vat is thick with pulp, seeds and the lovely (not) odor of fermenting grapes. The crowd is huge and motivating, waiting to watch teams go for the gold.
We held our own and are pleased to send you this donation-3rd place in the charity division — a hard earned award, given to you with pleasure, pride, and a few sticky fingers!
I am enclosing pictures of this event, so you can understand the effort. It really is fun; we were motivated to win for Kendra.
Thank you for assisting all the “Kendra’s”. You provide a wonderful service, alleviating some stress for families who are already enduring so much.
Phyllis Cox Rebori
Kathy Brown of Garden, whose young daughter Kendra has been a frequent traveler in our planes, celebrated the conclusion of Kendra's cancer treatments in Ann Arbor by surprising the pilots who have flown her with beautifully emroidered jackets. Pictured with Kathy are (standing, L to R) Dennis Whitehead, Steve Phillips, Tom Sullivan, John DeAmicis, and Ted Fornetti. Dean LeFebvre is kneeling in front. Thanks, Kathy, and congratulations to Kendra for hanging in there!
Dear Northwood’s Airlifeline,
Many times the words, “I can’t Thank-you enough” have been said. However, even those words are not enough to express how grateful I am to all of you.
In November 2002, my family’s lives fell to pieces when my daughter Kendra was diagnosed with a brain tumor that was found to be cancerous. There were so many worries, thoughts and decisions to deal with, not to mention the reality of my 4 year old having brain cancer. After having to be off of work for a year and moving downstate to the Ann Arbor area for 2 months so she could receive radiation, we came home to face a new problem. How are we going to get to Ann Arbor every week for her chemo treatments for the next year? YIKES!! It was suggested to me to give Northwood’s a call.
Right from my very first phone call to Northwood’s, the organization has been nothing but professional, considerate and truly concerned about Kendra. The pilots went way beyond any call of duty in order to help us. To give up their personal time, rearrange work schedules, or accommodate Kendra’s schedule was something these men were willing to do without hesitation. WHY?? Because of their commitment to this organization and it’s goal of helping those in need. The service they provided to us is indescribable. I don’t know how we would have done it without the help from Northwood’s.
So to you Tom, Dennis, Ted, John, Steve, Dean, Larry and the rest of the people involved with Northwood’s. I would like to express my most heartfelt THANK-YOU!! Not only for flying us, but also for the love you have shown Kendra.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in September of 2004. I underwent a bilateral mastectomy with tram breast reconstruction at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
Once I was discharged, friends had arranged for me to fly home via Airlifeline. The flight home took two hours. The car ride home would have taken two to three days and would have required me to get out of the car every hour to walk for fifteen to twenty minutes.
I again took the Airlifeline plane on December seventeenth to the Mayo Clinic for my follow-up appointments. This again saved time but most importantly it saved me the discomfort of getting in and out of a car.
I have been so lucky to be able to use this service. I have known others who have needed Airlifeline and can’t see how they could have done it without them.
Airlifeline is an amazing program. I have flown with three wonderful pilots; Dennis, Bruce, and Ted. These people donate their own time and money to help people like me. I am not sure how to thank people who don’t even know me; who take time out of their own lives and time away from their families to help. This is the amazing part.
Thank you Northwoods Airlifeline.
Ruth and Bob Larson
I would like to express my deep appreciation to all of you who knew and loved Bob and remembered me with your condolences at his passing.
The memorial giving to Northwoods Airlifeline on his behalf will continue his legacy of helping folks of the U.P. get the medical attention they need.
I also want to thank everyone at the Witch Lake Baptist Church for providing such a great time of fellowship and lunch on the day of the funeral.
When I learned of my son’s diagnosis a few weeks after Jiri was born, it is hard to forget how scared I was. Thoughts raced through my head of why God would let a little angel be so sick and suffer so much. I can remember thinking why not me, why Jiri, why an innocent child? After the initial shock that I eventually came to terms with I put my game face on and promised myself and Jiri I would do whatever I could to save this child. That in mind we found ourselves down in Ann Arbor. Over the past two years we have taken over 35 trips to Ann Arbor and many to Marquette also. Eventually this put a toll on me finacially and it became unaffordable to contually get to Ann Arbor and sometimes the weather would not even permit us.
One day I was walking Jiri by the park and a lady asked me, ‘What is wrong dear?’ and I just smiled and said ‘Nothing, Mam.’ but I think knew somethig was wrong, and she said, ‘well I want you to know we pray for your lil’ one in our church.’
So I had to ask, ‘how do you know?’ and she said, ‘because your Aunt put a picture of him by the candles people light for sick people and since I don’t know anyone whom is sick, I pray for Jiri.’ My heart started beating so fast and it was then I knew that just maybe things were going to be looking up, people were praying for us! So this lady went on to tell me she had heard of a program out of Iron Mountain that assisted sick children and adults with getting to their doctor appoinments and she wrote down all the information for me. I think I skipped and ran all the way home. I was so excited. I just felt like finally there was a break.
I got home and I dialed the first 9 numbers about 4 times before I had the courage to dial that last digit. Then when the operator answered I was scared so I hung up… but then I thought no Kristy, you have to do this for Jiri… so I dialed it again. I finally talked to the lady, and I told her about Jiri and went on and on about how I was so happy I found them and on and on… until she was like Mam, you are welcome and I need to stop you so I can take other peoples calls too!! It was then that I talked to Bruce and ever since he has been able to hook Jiri and I up with flights to Ann Arbor. These pilots have inspired me is so many ways. I just can not even begin to explain or put into words the appreciation and respect I have for them. I truly believe that if it wasn’t for Northwoods Lifeline Jiri would not be receiving the care he needs. My wish is that someday I can give back to this foundation and watch this program grow. I thank you all so much for everything you have done for Jiri and I. As the Holiday season nears all of us, I just thought it was very important to let you all know that I thank God every single day for what you do for us and everyone you have helped.
(Mommy to Jiri 2 Years Old with Alagille Syndrome)
Hi. My name is Paula Conery. I have multiple sclerosis and it has taken me to Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN. Many times. Airlifeline has saved my life. Recently I was flown and it turns out I was very sick. They gave me hope that even in the darkest, most terrifying time in your life, there are men that are not only willing to give up their personal time and risk their lives to fly, sometimes in not the best of weather or late on a Sunday night, but they are there. They give their time and as I found out their hearts too. Even though my family was not able to be with me, I never felt alone. I am so thankful. We are so lucky to have Airlifeline and none of that would be possible without mentioning Bob Larson. I had the opportunity to meet him once and talk about Airlifeline. His vision for this program was strong and he was so proud. I am sure that he is watching and guiding those planes through every flight. We could call him the guardian, but I truly think that each and everyone one of you that are involved with Airlifeline is a guardian. Please know that with each flight, you change a life. A life that at that moment is sometimes fragile, sometimes broken, and most of the time terrified. With your unselfish willingness to be there for people that you have never met. I am forever grateful for the commitment you have all shown me. I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart and wish you a very merry Christmas.