Make-A-Wish Grants Wish to Fly
By Toledo Free Press (09/25/09) Alissa Romstadt
The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northwest Ohio made Rich Martin's dream of flying planes come true. Martin, 25, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in his teens, and his original wish was for a full-motion flight simulator, which was prohibitively expensive. "Then I realized I didn't know how to fly," Martin recalls. "So, I requested the money for my pilot's license." Martin made his first solo flight when he was 16, and at 17 he acquired his pilot's license. Martin beat the cancer, but was unable to get clearance to fly after his high school graduation, owing to his health history. He applied to all branches of the military after graduating from college, but was turned down. Martin persevered, and today he is a lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force in flight training at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio. "Make-A-Wish definitely led me to where I am today," he says.
October 14, 2009