Having cancer at the young age of 22 is more than enough to handle. Add in the countless treatments, constant bad news, and lots of healthcare bills, and it’s difficult to keep your head above the water.
Todd Blake lives with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He’s had chemotherapy and two bone marrow transplants, but his cancer is still there. The Jacksonville, FL native has had to travel near and far to get proper treatment to keep his health as stable as possible.
Most recently, Blake learned that his treatments are not keeping his cancer in remission, meaning that he would need special care from somewhere else. Luckily, he was offered to participate in a clinical trial at Columbia University in New York City.
That catch? He doesn’t live in New York. He will have to fly weekly for several weeks, back and forth, between Florida and New York. The cost of his medical bills with the addition of flight prices seemed to be too much to fathom.
That is when the Corporate Angel Network stepped in. CAN is a charity that flies cancer patients to their treatment locations using private jets that are owned by companies who have empty seats.
The program allows patients to ride for free, with a passenger, whenever seats are available.
In April, Blake became the 45,000th cancer patient to ride on a CAN flight and according to CNBC, the jet belongs to an investment guru who has been offering his empty seats for more than 20 years.
Blake told CNBC that his experience flying through the CAN program has been wonderful.
It’s really great to see patients getting taken care of and Blake is pretty extraordinary. Blake, along with three other young adults with cancer, started a non profit organization in Jacksonville called Live for Today Foundation.
This organization helps promote healthy living among the community and helps inspire those with cancer to live each day to fullest.
The organization’s mission is to create a sense of joy for life. Blake is an inspiration to cancer survivors, those battling cancer now, and even those of us who are healthy.
Even his wife, Maja Blake, is in on the cause. She studied biochemistry at Florida State University and currently works at the Mayo Clinic in hopes to assist in one day finding a cure for her husband and others like him.
If you would like to learn more about the Blakes and the Live for Today Foundation, click here.
For more on this story visit: Dan Mangan, CNBC