Randall and Rosa Gardner

November 17, 2003: Randall Gardner and his wife Rosa flew in NWALL’s Seneca from the Soo to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota for cancer therapy. Pictured are (L to R) copilot Bob Tice, Randall and Rosa Gardner, and copilot Dennis Whitehead – click image to enlarge

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Kyle Rose and Mother Jenny

February 4, 2004. Copilot John Brooks stands with Kyle Rose and his Mom Jenny after completing a subzero night flight from Drummond Island to Ann Arbor. Kyle liked the NWALL bear we gave him, and Mom said our Seneca provided a comfortably warm cabin.

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Lillian Larson and Ken Ray

April 30, 2004. Double pickup at Rochester for Mayo Clinic patients Lillian Larson and Ken Ray. L to R: Dennis Whitehead, Matt Janousek, Monica Larson, Lillian Larson, Tom Sullivan, Beatrice Ray, Ken Ray. Matt and Dennis flew Lillian and Monica to Marquette in our twin, while Tom flew the Rays to Iron Mountain in his Mooney. (Maybe in a few years we can get the jet in the background and do it all in one trip!)

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Bob Larson Receives Ralph Sheehan Distinguished Service Award

Bob & Ruth Larson with Jim & Rose Olson

Robert “Bob” Larson, founder of Northwoods Airlifeline, recently received the Ralph Sheehan Distinguished Service Award at the District 10 Lions Convention held in Munising. This award is the most prestigious award given by District 10 and was established in 1979 in honor of Past International Director Ralph Sheehan.

When Bob retired from Chicago based Otis Elevator Co., he and his wife, Ruth(a retired registered nurse), moved to the Upper Peninsula to Republic and now resides in Iron Mountain. He knew then he didn’t want to sit around and watch the birds fly. Instead he looked around and saw a need where he could fly and make a difference. He had a dream after he saw a need for helping people. Using his own aircraft and funds he flew patients to where they needed to go for medical help.

In 1989, after many hours of hard work and much publicity his dream came true with the formation of Northwoods Airlifeline.

The Northwoods Airlifeline is a non-profit operation. The organization now has over 10 pilots.

Last year 185 missions were flown from the Upper Peninsula to places like Chicago,

Bob & Ruth Larson with Tom Sullivan and Steve Phillips

Madison, St. Paul, Nashville, Detroit, Saginaw, Ann Arbor, Minneapolis, Cleveland, and Appleton. The pilots volunteer their time and their aircraft to provide free transportation to help people obtain medical assisstance unavailable to them in the UP.
Passengers need to travel for surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, diagnostic procedures, and other treatments.

The Northwoods Airlifeline (NWALL) is one of the most worthy organizations in the Upper Peninsula and is supported entirely by contributions.

Bob had a dream, filled a need, and made a difference in many, many lives. He performed an outstanding humanitarian achievement.

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Flight 2000

Flight #2000: Margaret was very happy to be home. After 20 years living in the southwest and the loss of her husband, she was happy to be home in the Copper Country where all of her family is close.

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Sovia and Jack Lockwood

Sovia and Jack Lockwood at Rochester, Minnesota May 13, 2004. Dennis Whitehead flew them home to Gladstone following Sovia’s surgery at Mayo’s for a rare abdominal tumor. Jack and Dennis found they had a lot in common: both are avid mountain climbers, both have played hockey most of their lives, and both are vegetarians.

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Multiple Leg Angel Flight

Photo from a multiple leg trip we assisted Angel flight for a patient going from Marquette, MI to Texarkana AK. The photo shows our pilot, the patient, and the Angel Flight pilot at the first stop turning the patient over to Angel Flight for leg number 2. The patient was from Marquette and was going to Arkansas to donate stem cells.

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June Mantor

Flight from Rochester, July 24, 2004. We flew June Mantor (right) back home to Escanaba after evaluation for a kidney transplant. She will be returning to Mayo’s soon for specialized surgery. Accompanying June was her daughter-in-law Marsha Bauer. Co-pilot Bruce Rutter is on the left.

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Kathy Sinclair

April 4, 2005. We flew Kathy Sinclair of Florence, Wisconsin from Detroit’s Willow Run Airport to Iron Mountain. Kathy had specialized surgery at the University of Michigan to correct a spinal defect. Copilot Bruce Rutter helped make the flight possible.

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The Curtis J Brackett Memorial Fund

The Curtis J Brackett Memorial Fund donated $7500.00 to Northwoods Airlifeline. Pictured from left to right: Bruce Rutter (NWALL pilot), Dean Lefebvre (NWALL pilot), Teresa Louys (NWALL V.P.) Ruth & Bob Larson (NWALL Founders), Robert Earl Johnson (The Brackett Fund Board of Directors) and Tom Sullivan (NWALL President and pilot)

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Three NWA missions

Three NWALL missions come together at Manistique. The baby on the right is Savannah White, coming home with her Mom and Grandma after specialized treatment at Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee. Just left of Savannah is Linda Zellar of Gulliver, heading to Rochester for cancer treatment at Mayo’s. On the far left is Mason Young, returning from Ann Arbor to Iron Mountain.

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Airlifeline Fest 2006

Our pilots at Airlifeline Festival in 2006

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Bob and Ruth Morrell

We received a donation of over $400 from Bob Morrell in memory of his wife, Ruth. Ruth, 88 years old, passed away on Sunday May 10th, 2009. She worked for the Dickinson County Office of Veterans Affairs for 44 years. Ruth was also a past member of the Dickinson County Board of Commissioners and the Ford Airport Commission. Photo above: Tom Sullivan receiving donation from Bob Morrell

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Northwood’s Airlifeline Benefit

Northwoods Airlifeline and the Brackett Memorial. Left to Right: Mike Tomasoski, Jim Flaminio, Fred Flink, Teresa Louys, Robert Johnson, Jack Underhill

Every year on Labor Day, the Oak Crest Golf Club has held a 4-man Scramble golf Tournament. Several thousand dollars have been donated to Northwood’s Airlifeline over the past several years. This year $1,030.00 was provided by Oak Crest Golf Club. The Curtis J. Brackett Memorial Fund, from Norway, Michigan made a commitment to match the account for 2006. The total donation to Northwoods Airlifeline for this year is $2,060.00. The committee from Oak Crest Golf Club responsible for this years event are as follows: Fred Flink ~ Director of Golf, Jack Underhill ~ Event Chairman, Dale Ward ~ Committee Member, Jim Flamingo ~ Committee Member. The Curtis J. Brackett Board consists of: Robert E. Johnson, Mike Tomasoski and Jay Olivares.

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Girl Scout Troop 210

Dear Airlifeline,

Please accept the following donation on behalf of Manistique Area Girl Scout Troop 210 from St. Francis de Sales School. As part of a badge requirement, my 11 Girl Scout’s have been saving pennies for the past 30 days to see that “pennies really do add up.”

As a result, they saved 2,057 pennies.

The girls then decided they would like to donate the pennies to a charity and I am honored to write the check out to Airlifeline.

This troop is very familiar with your angels in the air; as you can see we have very close family and friends from St. Francis School/Parish who benefit from your organization. It is this Thanksgiving time of year that we would like to thank you for helping our friends.


Girl Scout Troop 210
Lisa Slavinski, Leader

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Darcy & Mike Getzloff

We’ve transported Darcy & Mike Getzloff’s triplets Adrianna, Ava and Colten of Wilson to Milwaukee Children’s Hospital several times. They were all born prematurely and are doing well. (Pilot Dennis Whitehead really has his hands full!)

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Oak Crest Golf Course & Curtis J. Bracket Memorial Fund

From left to right: Dale Ward, Jack Underhill, Teresa Louys, Jim Flaminio, Robert Johnson, Mike Tomosaski & Jay Olivares.

The Annual Labor Day Golf Scramble at Oak Crest Golf Course was held in September this year with $1,000 raised for Northwoods Airlifeline. The Curtis J. Bracket Memorial Fund from Norway Michigan matched the funds this year with another $1,000.

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Curtis J. Bracket Memorial Fund

From Left to Right: Tom Sullivan, Mike Tomosaski, Teresa Louys, Robert Johnson & Jay Olivares.

The Curtis J. Bracket Memorial Fund recently donated $7,500 to Northwood Airlifeline.

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Lucas Heimerl

Lucas Heimerl

This is picture of a Lucas on his way back from Milwaukee from open heart surgery. I gave him the opportunity to ride with me in the front as my co-pilot. I let him fly the plane for a bit too. Needless to say, he is pretty excited about flying.

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Emerald Elementary School

Northwoods AirLifeline received a most generous donation at Emerald Elementary School in Manistique. Kathy Brown, teacher at EES and mother of Kendra Brown, presented a check for $3371.09 to pilot Dennis Whitehead. Also pictured is NWALL Flight Coordinator and pilot Bruce Rutter, and Brenda Fleck of the Manistique Lions Club, which was instrumental in assisting the donation effort. Kendra Brown was flown over 50 times to Ann Arbor for brain tumor treatment, and has her mother for a teacher this year! The picture above shows her joyful reunion with Dennis, who had flown her downstate several times.

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Angels really do exist

There have been numerous movies and television shows made in the past several years about people coming back to earth as angels with a mission to help some wayward soul.

Well, I have met some real life angels wings included. Only their wings are attached to the airplanes they fly. They call themselves the Northwoods Air Lifeline, first organized in 1990 by Republic resident Bob Larson, they have made over 800 flights, bringing people from the Upper Peninsula to places like the Mayo Clinic and other teaching hospitals throughout Michigan and Wisconsin for medical treatment. And they do it for free.

For my wife and me, it was a real eye opener. I confess that because of 14 years in law enforcement and the deterioration of our society as a whole, I have become cynical, sometimes distrusting of people, especially those I don’t know. Then I met Bob and Ruth Larson, and Bob and Marsha Tice. Mr. Larson organized our flight and Bob and Marsha Tice flew my wife and me back and forth to Rochester, Minn. All of this was done for us, free of charge.

The Tice’s donated time away from their children, their own airplane along with fuel, to fly two people they never met to the Mayo Clinic. Mr. Larson organized transportation from the airport to the hospital and back. Bob and Marsha made sure I was warm and comfortable at all times and even brought lunch for the both of us.

Going through a surgical procedure is difficult on everyone, especially the patient’s family. Having a procedure done out of state only compounds the problems. Commercial air travel with layovers would have taken 6 1/2 hours, almost as long as it takes to drive to Rochester. Bob Larson stepped in and made all the arrangements and took the worry out of getting there and back. The nonstop flight took just over two hours.

I write this letter for two reasons. First, to thank Bob and Ruth Larson and Bob and Marsha Tice for all they did for me and my family. Second, to make people aware of this service and the remarkable people who make it happen.

Thank you, Mr. Larson, and Godspeed to all in your organization. You and your people truly are angels.

James A. Bjorne

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Everyone should know about these wonderful men

Our son was born with spinal defect. He needs extensive treatments and surgeries with pediatric neurosurgeons and many specialists. Being here in Upper Peninsula we are removed from these types of facilities and must travel to Milwaukee and Detroit.

A few weeks ago our son needed his tumor removed and the operation was scheduled at Children’s Hospital of Michigan located in Detroit.

Traveling to Detroit with an infant and then coming back with post-surgical infant in a car seat overwhelmed us.

Then I had heard of a program to help families with travel problems. A man named Bob Larson who runs program called “AirLifeline”. We contacted him and told him about our dilemma. He arranged for a flight out of Ford Airport to Detroit nonstop and when our baby was well enough to return home we would contact him for the flight. For us it was that simple. Bob handled everything for us, plus he’s one of the nicest persons I’ve ever met. Bob does that for families all over the area. If there is an illness in the family and out of town medical care is needed the program Bob has will get you there. He along with a wonderful pilot who gives his time and energy to this program named Bob Wilhelm.

These two guys gave up their time to take my family to Detroit and back. I had never met these two men before and they were that giving care what happened to us. And we are not the only family they have helped out. The week we went to Detroit they also took people to Marshfield and Minneapolis.

The week we came back they also were to make other trips with other families to other major medical facilities.

I could go on and on about these guys because my family is so grateful for their kindness.

I want everyone to know about these wonderful men and program they work with. Bob Larson spends his time helping families like us and also pays for many of the trips himself and being retired this can add up.

I’d like to see some community support so that this charitable program can continue on. Bob was there for us when we needed him and I’d like to see the community there for him. I’d also like to thank Dr. Garrett for the use of plane for both flights. Thank you so much.

Lynn Lusardi
Iron Mountain
(The Daily News – Iron Mountain

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Desiree Schaffer

My name is Desiree Schaffer. I’m 44 years old. I have 3 kids and one grandchild. I stared having problems with my kidneys in 1984. I was taking Advil and shot mi kidneys down. Went into Marquette General and they gave me Lasix and lost about 80 pounds in three days. A couple of years later again my kidneys shut down form muscle relaxants for my back and again they put me in Marshfield Hospital in Marshfield, WI and lost about 80 pounds in three days again.
It has been two years now since they gave me an antibiotic called Cipro and they shut down my kidneys for good. I’ve been on dialysis for almost 2 years. It will be two years in November since I went on the waiting list for a kidney. My transplant was on April 2nd, but having some problems though. My kidney went to sleep the second day because of antirejection drug they gave me. Next week I have another surgery to patch a window in my stomach.

Desiree Schaffer

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Michael Braun

Having spent 160 days in Rochester Mn. at St. Mary’s due to partial paralysis and throat surgery for cancer, we are thrilled to be going home. A car ride woudl have been too much. This Flight was the blessing we needed.



Uncle John will continue to rehabilitate in Sault Ste Marie. Much thanks to all at St. Mary’s. The hard work paid off as Uncle John practically got in the plane himself.

Michael Braun

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Cynthia Dorvinen

My name is Cynthia Dorvinen and I have three children, two of which have Cystic Fibrosis. My oldest child’s name is Stephanie who is 12 years old, she has Cystic Fibrosis, then my 7 years old son, who’s name is Esaias, then my youngest son, Caleb is almost 3 years old and who has Cystic Fibrosis as well.
Being from Upper Peninsula, my children’s doctor, Randell Brown, from University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor is a wonderful pulmonary specialist and helps me and my children to understand and live with this awful disease.

Medical appointments are very stressful and travel back and forth is very exspensive, not icluding the long ride that accompanies the trip. The people who donate their time and planes for people like myself with children who have on-going medical needs has been a wonderful blessing. It allows me to be sure that my children are getting the very best care that can be found, without the worry of “how are we going to get there?”. It’s a relief to know that there are peole that care enough to give others another option that they wouldn’t otherwise have.

Thank you for everything!
Cynthia Dorvinen, Houghton

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Frank Bigelow

My wife Tammy Bigelow was referred out to Mayo Clinic in late May. We were told about AirLifeline out of Iron Mountain. We spoke with Larry Jensen who has helped us with our flight with AirLifeline & different pilots who have been very nice. My wife, after ongoing evaluations, was diagnosed with tachyauxesis arteritis. On June 26 the doctors in Mayo will be doing a surgical biopsy of her swollen lymph nodes to determine whether this is arteritis lymphoma and how to medicate the

My wife and I flew to Rochester on May 3rd. AirLifeline brought my daughter Theresa from Escanaba out to Rochester and me back to Escanaba on June 23rd. My heart goes out to these very fine people for their kindness & services.

May God bless these pilots & everyone involved.


Frank Bigelow

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Jeanne Anderson

Jeanne Anderson who we have flown a number of times to St. Paul and Grand Rapids. She had her daughters with her. Alexis is the younger one sitting next to her mom the older daughter is Jordyn who sat in front.






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Iva Lummakka

I was born and raised in UP but spent a lot of time in the cities. You expect and get services in big cities. I have to say how great it is to be back in the UP where services are greater because it includes a personal and friendly experience. People here are great and I for one am glad to be back and a part of this wonderful service for my friend. My hat off to the up and people in it.

Iva Lummakka

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Dolores Carriere

Very comfortable and pleasant flight and a very nice pilot. A wonderful service.

Dolores Carriere

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Henry and Rita Kramer

Little did we know how helpful Northwoods AirLifeline would be to us in a recent need to transport my husband to the Clearview Nursing Facility in Delafield, Wisconsin. We had read of a number of your flights published in the Daily News of Iron Mountain, Michigan. Then with a few phone calls and the very considerate help we were on our way with perfect weather and such a capable crew. It was a perfect flight and landing. Two days later they returned to Waukesha and the return trip was made. Our appreciation is great for such a service in our area and will always be remembered.

Many thanks.
Henry and Rita Kramer

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Delores Carriere

A photo from NWALL flight to Cleveland on June 30, 2002. In the center is Delores Carriere from Champion, a cardiac patient, with her friend Iva Lummukka from L’Anse on the right. On the left is Coleen Fleming, RN, who assisted on the flight.

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Barbara Louys

We took Barbara Louys (on the left) to Rochester, Minnesota on June 4 for surgery at Mayo. With her is her son Rick and his wife Teresa, who is now doing an excellent job helping us with fundraising!

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Genevieve Nepper

Photo from the flight on Oct 30 from Iron Mountain to Saginaw.
With Dennis Whitehead (pilot) is on the picture (L toR) Linnea Nepper, Genevieve Nepper, and Jack Nepper. They’re from Iron Mountain. Genevieve needs specialized surgery to replace a diseased heart valve; Linnea is her daughter-in-law and is a nurse who assisted on the flight.

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Marilyn Reese

Marilyn Reese, whom we flew to Madison for a kidney transplant on May 12. She is in the picture with her husband Herbert, who did not come along. On the right is Coleen Fleming, RN, who assisted on the flight and on the left is Dennis Whitehead, pilot.

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Mike Wiltzius

We flew Mike Wiltzius of Escanaba to Madison January 2, 2003 for a kidney transplant. Mike had been on the University of Wisconsin’s transplant list for only a few weeks, in contrast to many of our patients who sometimes wait years for the proper organ match.

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Bill Dishaw

Standing behind Bill are (L to R) Jan Davidson, LPN, who assisted on the flight, Bill's wife Nancy, and pilot Dennis Whitehead.

The first patient transported in our new Seneca V was Bill Dishaw, whom we flew from Milwaukee to Iron Mountain on March 31, 2003.

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Here’s what Kendra wrote us: “Thank you for my Willy blanket and my new friends names. I saw the lights last night. Ted’s plane is bigger than Tom’s. Bye, Love, Kendra”

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Dakota Galeazzi

April 18, 2003. We took Dakota Galeazzi and his Mom Angela of Kingsford to the Shriners Burn Center in Cincinnati where he’ll be having some procedures done over the next couple of months. Angela enjoyed the smooth ride in the back of our new Seneca V at 11,000 feet while Dakota snoozed.

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Brett Barancik

May 12, 2003.
We flew Brett Barancik and his mother Wendy Schardt from the Soo to Ann Arbor for Brett’s cancer treatments. On the left is Dennis Whitehead, pilot (who enjoyed having Brett up front in the copilot seat), and on the right is Jackie Salo, RN, who assisted during the flight.


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Kent T. Depuydt

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

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Phyllis Cox Rebori

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

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Kathy Brown

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.


Kathy Brown

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Cathy Bauman

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.
Cathy Bauman

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Angie Wiseman

Here is some pictures of Adrianna, she is 3 years old and has been flown to Chicago about 4 or five times. You guys are wonderful and I would encourage anyone who needs help with transportation to contact you guys!! If you need help with the fund raiser please let me know how I can help, if you want me to put out raffle tickets here I can. As a little update on Adrianna, she has brittle bone syndrome, which means her bones break very easy. She has needed to be flown to Chicago due to surgery and being to broke up to drive. Adrianna is a smart beautiful little girl with a huge amount of courage. Thank you so much!

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Ruth Larson

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.

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Sometimes we are blessed

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.


Kristy Shriber
(Mommy to Jiri 2 Years Old with Alagille Syndrome)

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Paula Conery

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.
Love, Paula

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