Volunteer pilot, cancer survivor flying patients to treatment - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Volunteer pilot, cancer survivor flying patients to treatment

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LAWTON, Okla._ A local cancer survivor and veteran, turned pilot, is helping to make a difference in lives of many by donating his time and money to help fly patients to their treatment sites.

Emil Beresford completed his third mission on Wednesday. He’s one of many pilots who are a part of Angel Flight, an organization that runs off volunteer pilots. Beresford says it’s his own special way of making the lives of those suffering the most just a little bit easier.

“There’s a freedom that comes with flying that not too many people can experience,” says Beresford, 35, of Lawton, who typically shares the experience with others.

On Wednesday, he gave Shirley Human, 72, a lift to her treatment from Mineral Wells, TX. to Tulsa.

“People are so awesome to be gracious enough to give their time and take people back and fourth,” says Human. “There are no words that you can speak for all that."

Angel Flight coordinates the effort and then it is up to pilots, like Beresford, to fulfill the mission on their own dime.

“I think I spend enough money on other things that are just meaningless, so why not spend money to help someone out,” says Beresford.

He’s been flying for five years and says these missions are priceless, because he knows firsthand the struggle the patients he’s flying are going through.

“I was Stage IV cancer, kidney cancer, back in 2012. I’ve been in remission for four years already."

Beresford served 13 years in the army and was deployed twice to Iraq. It was in that second deployment when he was diagnosed and medically discharged. Now, he’s a pilot who is connecting with others to help them in their own fight.

“Each flight that I do I try to interact with the patients and try to tell them my side to the story,” he says.

He’s hopeful his success, strength and empowerment will rub off on the patients he’s helping, giving flight to the idea that they too will get better.

“It means a lot for me to help them out,” says Beresford. “I think I’m flying with a purpose."

For more information and to help Beresford in his effort with Angel Flight, click here.

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