Wise County

Bike Ride Benefits Nonprofit Helping Cancer Patients

Cancer patients in Wise County get free flights to medical facilities

NBCUniversal, Inc.

A son inspired by his mother's fight against cancer continues to do something good to help other patients. And once again, he's getting a lift from the cycling community.

A couple of hundred cyclists rolled into Decatur early Saturday morning for a charity bicycle ride.

They took off from the courthouse square for rides of eight, 25, 50 or 100 miles through the country roads of Wise County.

All of it to benefit Raquel's Wings for Life, a nonprofit organization that transports cancer patients free of cost to the medical facility of their choice.

It was founded in 2005 by Fabio LaBrada. He lost his mother Raquel to cancer that year, and he decided to use his skills as a pilot to help other cancer patients get the treatment they need. The goal is to alleviate the financial burden and time required for cancer treatment.

He and volunteers fly them to hospitals free of charge. Patients are flown in private aircraft with the ability to make point-to-point direct flights to the destination. They also have access to ground transportation from the airport to the medical facility.

Raquel's Wings has taken more than 500 flights as of June 2021 with the annual bike ride helping to fund the trips. The nonprofit organization operates solely on donations, personal funds and volunteers.

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