Kids from across Vermont and northern New York who have battled brutal diseases got to put those tough times aside Tuesday, for a VIP plane trip.
“I just say it’s awesome,” beamed Jade White of Barre, Vermont, one of the participants aboard the special flight from the Burlington International Airport.
The trip was a short one, from Burlington around Mount Washington in New Hampshire and back, but one the kids will remember for a long time.
All the children on board were currently patients or recently finished pediatric medical care for a host of very serious conditions.
“My mom tricked me and she said we were going to a doctor’s appointment and I already told my friends that,” Rowan Dodge, of Stowe, told necn. “So I think I’m going to say to them, “I didn’t exactly go to the doctor’s office!’”
JetBlue teamed up with the University of Vermont Children's Hospital, the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Burlington, and Camp Ta-Kum-Ta, a summer camp for kids with cancer, to offer the free “Dream Flight,” as they called it.
“I just want to say thank you, because this is really awesome,” said Maggie Morin of Georgia, Vermont, one of the young participants.
Longtime Ronald McDonald House volunteer Steve Shover, who also works for JetBlue in Burlington, got the ball rolling.
“This is absolutely phenomenal,” Shover said of the flight. “I think this is going to be an experience they’re going to have with them for the rest of their lives.”
After the kids landed back in Burlington, they discovered someone else had arrived at the airport when they were gone, except, he flew on a sleigh.
Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman, and community members with gifts celebrated the young VIPs at the end of the afternoon, completing this “dream” day.