An Alaska Airlines flight last winter was a big deal for a little boy from Minnesota. After battling cancer, the six-year-old and his family went on a Make-A-Wish trip to Hawaii. But, to make things even more special, in the cockpit, was the boy’s father and his uncle. This was a flight they will never forget.
An extraordinary Make-A-Wish trip
Haak (pronounced like “hawk”) Mohr received a Make-A-Wish trip to Hawaii at the Aulani Disney Resort to celebrate his strength and courage after battling cancer. His father, Ryan Mohr, was the first officer for the flight. Meanwhile, his uncle, Dan Driggs, was the captain of the plane.
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Haak was diagnosed with Wilms tumor cancer. This cancer, primarily affecting the kidneys, affects children. For the family, and Haak especially, it was a long and tough journey. After facing surgery, radiation treatments, chemotherapy, and physical therapy, Haak beat back his cancer, and it went into remission.
Haak’s dream trip was to Hawaii to a Disney Resort. And, for the family, they made sure to fly from Minneapolis to Hawaii on Alaska Airlines.
Haak, wearing a little pilot’s hat, traveled with his mom and brothers while his uncle and dad flew the plane. Before the flight, the family was able to get some shots in the cockpit– a special part of all Make-A-Wish kids flying Alaska Airlines. After landing in Honolulu, a team from the Hawaii chapter of Make-A-Wish greeted the family with special welcome signs and flower leis. For the family, it was an unforgettable flight.
As for what Haak wanted to see in Hawaii, Mohr stated the following:
“He couldn’t wait to see tropical fish. We don’t have those in Minneapolis.”
Putting the trip together
Mohr reached out to the CEO of Alaska Airlines, Brad Tilden, with the idea of him piloting with his brother-in-law. The request made its way through Alaska’s system where Chief Pilot Scott Day and Base Chief Pilots Craig Huffman and Dave Mets made it happen.
The airline shuffled around pilots and flew down Driggs, based in Anchorage. Mohr himself is based out of Seattle. Just before departure, Mohr made a very special announcement:
The Alaska team banded together to help
The camaraderie in the airline industry is well known among pilots and flight attendants. At Alaska Airlines, the company’s employees came around to help the Mohr family through this challenging journey. For about ten months out of his over seven-year career at the carrier, Mohr was grounded with his focus on the family. To get through those times, he received support from Alaska’s Employee Assistance Fund (EAF).
The Make-A-Wish foundation
For those who are unaware, the Make-A-Wish foundation strives to give children their dreams using donated resources to accomplish as much as possible. From electric guitars to helping a child become a firefighter for a day to memorable vacations like this, almost nothing humanly possible is out of reach. There is a referral process for the Make-A-Wish foundation to make things come true.
Simple Flying wishes the Mohr family the best going forward and hopes that Haak had plenty of fun in Hawaii!
Were you onboard this flight to Hawaii? What do you remember from the flight? Let us know in the comments!