This week, Southwest Airlines announced that Shepherd Center, Emory University Hospital and Piedmont Hospital have been selected for the Southwest Airlines Medical Transportation Grant Program in 2014 - hospitals in your community that provide lifesaving treatment each and every day.
Through our program, participants provide complimentary, roundtrip airline tickets to families who are facing serious illness and need to travel for specialized medical care. Being able to fly for free to receive the best medical treatment gives those who are already facing so much one less thing to worry about. The numbers tell a great story:
• $2.8M in free flights in 2014
• 73 participants, with an impact to 99 facilities in 2014
• 33,000 tickets provided since the program's inception in 2007
• $13.2M in free transportation provided over the past seven years
• 26 states with participating organizations
• 26,000 patients whose lives have been touched
The real stories, though, come from participants:
"It is through your generous and kind assistance that I have been able to travel with my wife for my cancer treatments. I have been fighting this fight almost five years at great expenses both financially and emotionally. Your generosity has helped to ease some of that burden. Thank you." - Cancer patient
"...without the assistance of Southwest, I would not have the chance to extend my life to this point and beyond, and for that reason we thank you from the bottom of our hearts." - MD Anderson patient
One such recipient of this program is three-year old Toby Shaw. Toby battles arthrogryposis, which affects the joints in his arms and wrists. Through the Southwest Airlines MTGP, he's able to travel from his home in Ohio to Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia to receive the best treatment available for his condition. Visit the NUTS About Southwest blog to see Toby's story.