Empowered Youth

Boy Battling Cancer Becomes A Pilot For The Day

A Northern Virginia boy got the experience of a lifetime Thursday at Joint Base Andrews. Kwami Penty, 8, of Falls Church, Virginia, got to be “Pilot for a Day” at the base.

Penty was honored by the event at a pivotal time in his life. The young boy is battling a malignant brain tumor on his pineal gland. “His courage, it’s amazing,” Major Cliff Taylor said. As part of the special day, Penty got to fly in a flight simulator and explore the cockpit of a Maryland State Police chopper. He even got to learn hand-to-hand combat with the help of some service members.

Penty told WUSA9 that the event made him special. “From all the kids, I got picked to do this,” he said. Penty is undergoing an aggressive chemotherapy regiment to fight his cancer. His parents said they’re hopeful he will get better as his treatments continue. The Check 6 Foundation, a military service organization, partnered with Joint Base Andrews to put Thursday’s event together. Check 6 said Penty was brought to its attention by the Children’s National Medical Center.

“We are glad to be a part of this function going on at Joint Base Andrews,” said George Onyenyeonwu of the Check 6 Foundation. The foundation also helps veterans in need across the DMV region. It said as it was assisting Kwami with its “Pilot for a Day” event, it was also able to assist a veteran pay his rent just before he was evicted.


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