In January 2011, Able Flight pilots Heather Schultz and Sean O’Donnell fulfilled a wish to give back what was given to them by helping wounded veterans become pilots. Beginning on a bitterly cold morning in Wilmington, Delaware, they flew Sean’s specially adapted airplane on a multi-city tour of a thousand miles to demonstrate to wounded veterans and others that paralysis or other disabilities are no barrier for them.
Years ago, Sean became a paraplegic as the result of a motorcycle accident, and four three years ago, Heather became a quadriplegic because of a diving accident. Now, they have something new in common-they are both licensed pilots.
At stops along their journey, they met with patients of veteran’s centers and spinal cord rehab hospitals, and with media representatives to share how they overcame their own challenges to become pilots, and of the freedom they earned with hard work, determination and willpower.
Sean and Heather also used the journey to raise funds for Able Flight scholarships to make it possible for wounded veterans to become pilots. With support from large and small donations, they successfully helped Able Flight build a fund for two wounded veterans to become pilots in 2011.
Though their official Freedom Flight 2011 fund raising project has ended, Heather and Sean are still encouraging supporters to contribute any amount to support the Able Flight scholarship fund by donating here , and dedicating the donation to wounded veterans.