Kids battling chronic illnesses soar with the clouds

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Children battling cancer or sick with chronic illnesses enjoyed a day filled with planes and helicopters.

The Free to be Me event in Greenville allowed children to ride in aircrafts.

Eight-year-old Roman was diagnosed with leukemia right after his fourth birthday. It’s been a long road to recovery for him and his family.

Four years later, he’s in remission, and Friday he got his port removed. Saturday was his birthday, and his dad said Roman decided to come to the Free To Be Me event instead of having a birthday party.

His dad could not be more proud of him and how he handled everything he went through.

“It makes me proud of him, to see what he was able to go through and the accomplishments that he has made through his treatment, I’m very proud of him,” said Roman’s father.

On Saturday, Roman flew high and felt the wind in his hair with pilot Al Williford.

“The goal of the event is to give parents and their children a fun day outside and create happy and fun memories,” said Williford, who added, “These children often spend three to four weeks in the hospital and today to be out with their brothers and sisters, everyone is treated equal and they absolutely love it.”

Roman’s dad said through all the struggles, he’s waited to see his little boy have a big of a smile on his face again and do whatever makes him happy.

“To be free, cancer free, and just to do whatever he wants to do,” said Roman’s father.

For more information on this event, go to

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