Man With Terminal Cancer Gets Ride of a Lifetime


BRYAN A local man with terminal cancer had a wish to do something he's never had a chance to do, take a ride in a helicopter.

So Lampstand Health and Rehab in Bryan along with St. Joseph Hospital Air Medical and a lot of other people got together to make it happen Friday afternoon.

77 year old Alvin Ryhnard is diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer and doesn't have long to live.

The folks at Lampstand Health and Rehab asked him what he'd like to do, and he said he wanted to go up in a helicopter.

Terri Watts is the Director of Therapy, and her husband teaches aircraft rescue and firefighting at Texas A&M. He pulled some strings and helped make it happen.

Terri says, "Oh it's awesome! It's awesome. I can't wait to see him go up. I would never want to go in a helicopter, I'm afraid of heights, but I would love to watch him do it."

Alvin's daughter, Sharon Banister, is here to watch a magical moment, where not too many moments are left.

"Oh I think it's fantastic, he'll be so excited. This is something that's he's been hoping for and something I'd like to do for him before he passes."

Billy Rice with St. Joseph Air Medical says, "It's definitely something that we don't do often, but you know, when we can, it's totally awesome."

And Alvin is ready to get a feel for helicopter flying.

"I've always thought of whenever I saw one, I'd stop and just look, and keep looking at it, 'till it's gone. And I've always wondered what it feels like."

So it's time to load up as fellow patients look on, and Alvin gets some headsets.

"You good. Yeah. Allright."

Alvin and company prepare for take off.

The trip takes him flying over Bryan-College Station, with a bird's eye view of the Texas A&M campus.

Who knows what crosses Alvin's mind during this flight, maybe the things he's done during his life, the people who will miss him when he is gone, maybe just being free like a bird.

Back down to earth, we hear his feelings about the trip he's dreamed about.

"How was it? Great! (laughing)"


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