Jesse Miller, 5, gets a preflight orientation from Classic Air Medical Pilot Geoff Rodgers Wednesday afternoon at Los Alamos Medical Center. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com
KOB Eyewitness News 4 films Jesse Miller, 5, Wednesday on the heli-pad at LAMC. Thanks to an anonymous donor, Jesse was about to take off on a helicopter ride over Los Alamos with his mom Mariah Miller and Classic Air Medical Pilot Geoff Rodgers. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com
By CAROL A. CLARK
Los Alamos Daily Post
Five-year-old Jesse Miller of Los Alamos is in remission from leukemia, and Wednesday was a very special day because he got to take a helicopter ride with the Classic Air Medical crew.
He and his mom, Mariah Miller, soared high above Los Alamos in the $3.8 million dollar med-evac helicopter with pilot Geoff Rodgers and paramedic Chris Bartlett.
The flight was made possible by an anonymous donor as part of the Los Alamos Relay for Life fundraising activities. Classic Air Medical, the contracted provider of med-evac services to the Los Alamos Medical Center, offered a Flight for Two and Meal with the Crew as a raffle item.
The helicopter ride raffle raised more than $1,000 for the Los Alamos Relay for Life and the lucky winner, who wishes to remain anonymous, asked that the helicopter ride be donated to a child who is battling cancer.
“It’s really great to do this for someone like Jesse who just takes what life throws at him and keeps on going and that is such an inspiration,” Rodgers said.
The 5-year-old was all smiles after his flight and said he wasn’t at all scared.
“Can I keep this shirt and wear it on my field trip tomorrow to the Farmer’s Market tomorrow?” Jesse asked Rogers who presented him with a Classic Air Medical t-shirt. Rodger’s said the shirt was his to keep and wear as he wanted.
Los Alamos Medical Center Marketing Director Mary Beth Maassen chaired this year’s Relay for Life.
“It’s really heartwarming to see Jesse get this wonderful opportunity and to see him so happy,” she said.
For more than 26 years, Classic Air Medical has been providing air medical transport in the western United States. Classic has a reputation for excellent patient care and safety as provides critical care air transport from rural hospitals and emergency scenes.
The experienced medical teams utilize specialized skills to meet the complex needs of the patients they serve. Requesting agencies depend on our ability to utilize all possible resources to meet the logistical demands unique to rural emergency care.
About Los Alamos Relay For Life
Each year, more than 4 million people in over 20 countries raise much-needed funds and awareness to save lives from cancer through the Relay For Life movement. The Los Alamos Relay for Life is the third weekend in August at Ashley Pond Park. In 2015, Los Alamos Relay for Life raised more than $32,000 for the American Cancer Society.
About Los Alamos Medical Center
Los Alamos Medical Center is a regional hospital providing compassionate care close to home to the people of north central New Mexico. LAMC is part of LifePoint Health, a leading health system that operates 70 community hospitals in 20 states. With a mission of Making Communities Healthier, LifePoint is the sole hospital in a majority of the communities it serves.
Jesse Miller, 5, speaks with Classic Air Medical Pilot Geoff Rodgers Wednesday afternoon at Los Alamos Medical Center. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com
Jesse Miller, 5, waves goodbye Wednesday as he and his mom Mariah leave for a flight over Los Alamos. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com
KOB Eyewitness News 4 films Classic Air Medical Pilot Geoff Rodgers Wednesday afternoon at Los Alamos Medical Center as he prepares to take Jesse Miller, 5, and his mom for a flight. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com
The crew prepares to take off Wednesday from the heli-pad at LAMC with a special passenger. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com
KOB Eyewitness News 4 films Jesse Miller, 5, Wednesday as he takes off for his helicopter ride over Los Alamos with his mom Mariah Miller and Classic Air Medical Pilot Geoff Rodgers and paramedic Chris Bartlett. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com
Jesse Miller, 5, is a happy boy as he arrives back at LAMC following his helicopter ride with Classic Air Medical, saying ‘it was a lot of fun’ and ‘next time I’d like to ride in a blue helicopter.’ Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com