No child should have to endure the kind of suffering that six-year-old Kaylee T. has faced, but despite serious illness, the little girl from Gordonsville, Virginia “is a happy child in high spirits,” says her father and full-time caregiver, Jermaine.
Kaylee had just started kindergarten when one day in October 2014 she became violently ill and broke out in a rash. Her lips began to swell and blisters erupted inside her mouth. The condition quickly spread overnight. Jermaine called his wife, Daisy, and she immediately came home from work. They sped to the ER at the University of Virginia Medical Center 45 minutes away where Kaylee was admitted.
Continue reading “Despite Burns, She’s a Happy Child”
By Stephanie Singer, Intern, Virginia Wesleyan College
“He’s going to be his own prophet. He’s going to write his own book.”
These thoughts passed through Kristine’s head when she first held her son. She named her son Ezequiel, an alternate spelling of the biblical name Ezekiel. The name means “God’s strength,” a unique spelling reflecting the boy’s individuality.
At two years old, Zeq, as he’s called, weighed only 19 pounds and was severely malnourished. Doctors thought he had food allergies. Kristine disagreed; it was impossible to have allergies to every food.
She drove to Baltimore, Maryland, hoping another doctor could help her son. “We needed a fresh set of eyes,” she said.
At the hospital, an immunologist diagnosed Zeq with eosinophilic esophagitis, or EoE.
Eosinophilic esophagitis is a chronic immune system disease. It occurs when white blood cells build up in the esophagus and attack substances such as food. Complications include scarring and tearing of the esophagus, vomiting, and severe weight loss.
Angel Flight to the Rescue
After learning of Zeq’s diagnosis, Kristine went to some internet forums that she regularly participated in and asked if there was anyone who could help get them back and forth to Baltimore from their home in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She got an answer: Angel Flight.
The charity has been providing flights for Kristine and Zeq, who will be six in July, for three years.
Continue reading “Boy with Rare Disease Lives Up to His Name”
by Stephanie Singer, Intern (Virginia Wesleyan College)
Karen C. has a condition called myasthenia pravis. Trying to say it will twist your tongue. That was the least of Karen’s concerns. This condition rendered twisting, or any other motion, almost impossible.
Myasthenia pravis is an autoimmune disease in which antibodies attack the areas where nerves and muscles join. This causes limited mobility.
“The condition is difficult,” said the 54-year-old woman, who has trouble walking any further than the length of her kitchen.
One of the medications doctors prescribed was Prednisone. The drug is an immunosuppressant, meaning that it weakens the immune system. It is prescribed for diseases such as myasthenia pravis.
Continue reading “‘When I’m Flying I Don’t Feel Pain’”
When Robb Alpaugh walked into the office on his first day as CEO and President of Angel Flight’s parent organization, Angel Flight Mid-Atlantic, the thing that struck him most was “the people on staff. They were excited and energized with passion for the mission,” he said.
June 15 was the date Robb joined the team to provide leadership, financial growth, and his own brand of passion arising from his experience as a volunteer pilot.
“These passions have been growing since I first joined Angel Flight in July 2007. I met a little girl and flew her to Victory Junction Camp. I realized then what a great service we were providing.
“From that time forward, my enthusiasm for Angel Flight and later, for the associated charities under the MMA banner, has only increased.”
Continue reading “Passion, Fundraising Savvy Are CEO’s Specialties”