In April of 2017, Airman First Class Karlene D. was diagnosed with lymphoma and was immediately sent to San Antonio Military Medical Center to begin aggressive chemotherapy and radiation, and to receive multiple stem cell transplants. While Karlene’s family resided in Maryland, her younger sister, Jolina, traveled to and from Texas to serve as her primary caretaker. A true military family, their father served in the Army for 21 years prior to passing away and their brother, Michael, serves as an Airman stationed in California. With their family stationed across the country, her mother was left to care for the home and family while Karlene undergoes treatments.

Since expanding our mission to include service members battling illnesses such as cancer, Luke’s Wings has been honored to provided flights for Jolina, Michael, and their mother to be present throughout the course of Karlene’s treatment. In the following months, we received the exciting news that Karlene was transferred to a hospital closer to her family in Maryland, permanently reuniting this inspirational family. As she transitioned closer to home, our donors allowed us to provide a flight for her brother, Michael, to welcome her home!

In the face of adversity, Karlene’s sister, Jolina, has shown great optimism and resiliency as she not only cares for her sister, but also for her fiancée, Navy Seaman Ramiro P., also battling leukemia at MD Anderson in Houston, TX. Since her sister was moved closer to home, Jolina moved to Texas to serve as Ramiro’s primary caretaker during his own battle with cancer. Luke’s Wings was able to provide her with the opportunity to surprise Ramiro before he began his aggressive treatment regimen – those smiles say it all!  “I honestly can’t thank you guys enough for everything,” Jolina says – but it is our privilege to support such a deserving family.

Total Value of Flights: $1,235

July 6, 2020