10-year-old cancer patient gets to be a pilot-for-a-day

Credit: Theresa Palmgren/KTVB

10-year-old cancer patient gets to be a pilot-for-a-day

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by Justin Corr

Bio | Email | Follow: @JCorrKTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on February 21, 2014 at 7:23 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 24 at 8:54 AM

MOUNTAIN HOME -- A brave young man battling brain cancer got the thrill of a lifetime today as he was made an honorary pilot with the 389th Fighter Squadron at Mountain Home Air Force Base.

"Today is a special day for the T-Bolts," said Lt. Col. Joel Meyers.

It was an even more special day for 10-year-old Ryan Trick, who's already battled more in his young life than many of us will ever face.

"Ryan was diagnosed when he was 2 years-old, with a brain tumor,” said Ryan's mom Jackie Costa.  “They told us he wouldn't walk or talk. He was on chemotherapy from the time he was two, until the time he was five. He's walking. He's talking. He's my miracle child. And he loves airplanes."

Ryan was surprised and very overwhelmed by this surprise. His aunt, Laura Schmidt, set up a day where he might be able to see some jets up close.

"It's very heartwarming," said Schmidt.

But those with the 389th Fighter Squadron set up a lot more than that.

"He's a special kid. And he's got a special family. And it's a great opportunity for us to welcome him here, make a special day for him at a difficult time in his life," said Meyers.

"I never expected anything like this," said Schmidt.

Ryan was made an honorary pilot. He got a flight suit, his name on a jet, toured that jet, went through a simulation, got a crew chief, and even saw a flight.

"It was a great day," said Costa.  "I just want to thank everybody, each and every one of you, for making his dreams come true."

Ryan will go in for his yearly checkup on Tuesday, and his family is confident everything will check out fine, and he'll be able to keep doing the things that a normal 10-year-old does.

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