SPOKANE, Wash. — Rick Clark and the Spokane Quaranteam have helped a lot of people and businesses over the years. But, the phone call Clark received Wednesday truly took his breath away.
That call came from staff at the American Childhood Cancer Organization of the Inland Northwest. It was about a five-year-old girl they've helped since she was diagnosed with cancer a year and a half ago.
She's undergone treatment in Spokane and Seattle. On Wednesday, doctors in Houston said there was nothing else they could do.
"They've taken her off chemo, so she has a very short window of time where she's going to feel good," Leslie Woodfull of American Childhood Cancer Organization said.
That little girl now wants to come home and spend her final days in a house instead of a hospital.
"She wants to ride in her dad's pickup and have snacks, she wants to see her siblings, she wants to eat pizza," Woodfull said.
On Wednesday afternoon, Clark made an urgent post to the 34,000 members of Spokane Quaranteam asking if anyone had a plane.
"They just really didn't think this would happen in a couple hours," Clark said. "Within 70 minutes, we had multiple pilots with multiple personal planes and said 'where do you need me? I'm ready to go.'"
One of those pilots is Dennis Combs. He owns a car dealership in Boise and his own jet. Combs said there was no need to raise any money for fuel. He's done 40 missions like this before.
"Very soon, the cancer will take over and it will hit her hard," Woodfull said. "So, she's got this tiny window that she can get home in."
The five-year-old will be ready to fly back to Spokane on Friday to see her siblings, ride in her Dad's truck, and of course, eat some pizza.
"If she's going to heaven, we want her to be surrounded by her family," Clark said.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The Inland Northwest chapter of the American Childhood Cancer Organization is hoping the community will also support the 93 children getting cancer treatment at Sacred Heart right now.
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