Nonprofit helps children with illnesses, disabilities fly planes

Posted at 5:47 PM, Oct 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-10 19:29:41-04

Eight-year-old Matthew Molina was born with spina bifida. 

"He's not able to walk just yet. He goes to therapy twice a week," said Ricky Molina, Matthew's grandfather.

Although Matthew is not able to walk - he is able to fly a plane.

"It feels beautiful up there. You can see everything up there," said Matthew.

It is all a part of the Flying Vikings. 

"We take kids who actually have a chronic illness like cancer or leukemia or they could have a physical disability, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and we take them up for free airplane rides where they actually take the controls and be the pilot," said Paul Hansen, Flying Vikings President and Founder. 

During Fly Days, kids ages 6 to 18 get to fly 2,000 feet in the air for about 30 minutes - free of charge. 

"He just loves it. It makes him happy. He likes doing it," said Molina.

To make this happen,  the organization has asked the community to donate. 

"To see a child who's not going to say ride a bike or climb a tree, fly a plane. Or they're used to going to a hospital or clinic every day. To get up and do something like that is beyond rewarding," said Hansen. 

Matthew has attended four different Fly Day events. His grandfather said donations go a long way.

"Even though a child is handicap, give them the opportunity to try things and let them enjoy their life at the fullest,' said Molina. 

"If you can do it once, you can do it again," said Matthew. 

The next Fly Day event will be held on Oct. 20 at the Waco Regional Airport. 

To find out how to donate or how to attend the next Fly Day event, visit here.

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