Watching her 13 year-old son, who’s battled sickle cell disease since birth, be sworn in as an honorary second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force had Tia Allen beaming with pride this month at the 910th Airlift Wing in Vienna.
As the Pilot for a Day, Javionte Allen of Warren was given VIP treatment at the air base along with his mother and grandparents Lorayn Hughley, Stephanie Jordan and Ricky Hughley.
For a day, Javionte could take a break from school and the countless treatments he’s had at Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley. He wore a personalized flight suit, received a model of the C-130 Hercules cargo plane flown by the 910th, and rode in the plane as it taxied down the main runway at the base.
His experience also included an up-close tour of the base and lunch with Maj. Brent Davis, base personnel and guests from Akron Children’s.
Nominated by their physician, patients between the ages of 8-14 years who have a chronic, debilitating or life-threatening illness are selected to participate in the Pilot for a Day program 4 times a year. The program is in its 15th year and is coordinated through the Community Outreach, Education and Support Center of Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley.
September is Sickle Cell Disease Month. Learn more at https://www.akronchildrens.org/departments/Sickle-Cell-Program.html