Young cancer patient takes flight in Black Hawk simulator
Reported By Todd Dunn, Video Journalist - bio | email
FT. CAMPBELL, Ky. -
Hendersonville Elementary School student Adam Crider got to do what most boys his age only dream about doing Tuesday.
The nine-year-old was in the pilot seat of a Black Hawk flight simulator at Ft. Campbell.
The mission was made possible thanks to a fulfilled promise from Lt. Col. Scott Gerblick.
Last September, as part of a class project Adam, who was diagnosed with cancer in December of 2010 and has been receiving chemotherapy treatments every since, wrote a letter to Gerblick, who was deployed at the time in Afghanistan.
Adam told Gerblick not to worry about him but to focus on the war and never give up.
"It keeps things in perspective," Gerblick recalled. "I am over there halfway through a deployment and I think I'm having a bad day and living in a plywood building and times are tough and then you get a letter from a young boy who's going through something like that and it makes you realize life is not so bad."
Gerblick sent a letter back to Adam with a promise.
"Let me make you a deal. I will keep fighting the bad guys over here, you keep fighting cancer and when I get back I will take you flying in a helicopter simulator," Gerblick said of the letter.
The promise was fulfilled Tuesday at Ft. Campbell.
Crider's mom, Sue, told Nashville's News 2 she is thankful for the memories her son will never forget.
"Everything that they have to go through when they are going through treatments, there are days that aren't so great but this is definitely a day that's been wonderful," she said.
After the flight, Adam and his family were able to see real helicopters up close before leaving Ft. Campbell.
Adam will continue receiving weekly cancer treatments until the end of December.
He will have once a year follow-up visits for the rest of his life.