MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. --
Team Maxwell paired up with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds to provide a special child the opportunity to see his first air show, April 8th, 2017.
T.J. Esco, a seven year-old who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in 2015, came to the air show hoping to catch a glimpse of some of his favorite airplanes.
“We had no idea how sick he was until we got the results from the multiple tests,” said Tim Esco, T.J.’s father.
His love for airplanes developed while he was in the hospital receiving treatment for his cancer, said Marianne Esco, T.J.’s mother.
“When T.J. was in the hospital, my husband would always pretend to be pilots with T.J. and fly airplanes around the room,” said Marianne.
Since being diagnosed, T.J. has been through two-full rounds of chemotherapy. He is currently in remission, but receiving maintenance therapy for the next two years.
Despite having Leukemia, T.J. doesn’t let that stop him from playing with his airplanes, his favorite pastime.
During the Air Show, T.J. watched his favorite aircraft fly, and even had the opportunity to see them up close. The highlight of his day occurred when two Thunderbird team members visited with him and gave him memorabilia to remember his time at the air show.
“We are just so grateful to be able to give him this opportunity, and it wouldn’t be possible without the help of our military,” said Tim.
“He had such a great day,” Marianne said. “It was nice to be a normal family.”
T.J.’s father believes that flying is something that will stick with his son throughout his life, and feels he may have a future as a pilot.