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While Tristan’s flights were simulated, about 80 percent of wishes granted each year to children in Alaska and Washington state involve airline travel; it’s one of the largest wish-granting expenses. Using airline miles donated from individuals is the number one way we are able to stretch our donated dollars.
Donate your airline miles at no cost to you during the Wishes in Flight® mileage drive. Thank you for giving wings to local wishes!
For years, 11-year-old Tristan has piloted his imaginary “Infinity Airlines” flights wherever he is: in his bedroom, backyard, or spending a long night within the four white walls of his hospital room undergoing treatment for a rare heart condition.
Each moment Tristan spends in his imaginary airplane soaring high above the clouds or studying his flight simulator app is an escape from the realities of therapies, exhaustion and many unknowns that come with pulmonary hypertension.
That’s why when Tristan found out he would receive a wish from Make-A-Wish, he immediately knew he wanted to be a pilot. During his wish, Tristan received his official pilot identification card, a welcome letter and official uniform. Then, it was off to work for Alaska Airlines’ newest pilot.
“It’s fun, you get to fly all over the world, you get to hear the engine sounds, you get to see all kinds of scenery,” Tristan said as he listed off the reasons he wanted to become a pilot. “You get to meet lots of different people, I get to meet the pilots and ask them questions.”
Tristan and his new crew even spent time in the flight simulator where they did takeoffs and landings; practiced flying in rain, snow and sunshine; and got a feel of what it’s like to pilot a commercial aircraft. Throughout the day, he astounded the crew with his knowledge of aircraft.
“I feel really refreshed, amazing and good about myself. Thanks to everybody over here, they helped make my dream come true!” said Tristan. “I had bundles of fun!”