EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) – Noah Branscum gasps and laughs as he handles the controls in a flight simulator on Altus Airforce Base.
For one day, this Edmond boy is living large as a “Pilot for a Day.”
Along with flight training, he eagerly climbs into a KC-135 Stratotanker. Later he mans the controls in a base fire truck, spraying an aircraft in a simulated fire. KFOR first featured Noah almost two years ago when he was a five year old obsessed with Batman.
“This is the cape Noah wore for the first six months after he was diagnosed,” explains his mother, Amber. “He wore it everywhere, and if there was a hole, we patched it.”
Amber carefully protected that cape because it helped Noah along his journey to beat leukemia.
Fighting alongside him since he was just three has been his medical team at Jimmy Everest Cancer Center.
Pediatric oncologist Dr. Chinni Pokola says, “Noah loves superheroes a lot and his parents and I use that as a common language to explain procedures.”
Fast forward to today, and Dr. Pokola and others are thrilled to know Noah is a cancer survivor, with his illness and treatments behind him. His mother smiles and says, “He had three and a half years of active chemo-therapy and finished his treatment in June 2019. “
Altus Air Force base collaborated with Sheridan’s Sunshine Foundation to give Noah a full day of activities on the base. Sheridan is the daughter of a retired base instructor, and cancer took her life in 2011.
Her family formed the foundation to share her story and her strong sense of purpose in helping others.
“I would say this is one of the best things ever given to us as a family and Noah as a child,” says Amber Branscum. “It’s been a blast, so from the bottom of our hearts, it’s been a big thank you.”
Sgt. Collin Green is a CTCS Instructor at Altus Air Force Base and handed Noah a plaque to commemorate the day. He says, “This seemed like a good opportunity to give back to someone who really, really deserved it.”
It’s a day the Branscum family will not forget. Their lives have been touched by cancer, but not defeated by it.
Kids with Courage is sponsored by The Jimmy Everest Cancer Center, consider donating to JECFriends.org.