Caleb came enveloped in the arms of his family, walking into a room of caring strangers, all focused on making his dream come true.

One year earlier, on his third birthday, Caleb had gotten a toy helicopter, and his fascination with helicopters had begun. On his fourth birthday, many things were different, including a diagnosis of leukemia.

“His dream is to ride in a real helicopter,” Caleb’s father Robert Medrano explained as the family faces extensive care for their son at Driscoll Children’s Hospital.

“When the call came in to HALO-Flight, to give this child, who is facing so much, the ride of his dream,” explained HALO-Flight Executive Director Tom Klassen, “we worked to make it happen.”

Outfitted in t-shirts clamoring bragging rites as “Brother of the Birthday Boy” and “Mother of the Birthday Boy” and including both his younger sister and Father, Caleb’s clan were solidarity-personified for the small, quite young man who donned a flight helmet and took off in a helicopter at the age of four. After all, it was his dream.

He and his father lifted off under the command of HALO-Flight Pilot Kyle O’Connor, aided by Driscoll Transport Team Nurse Allison Loveless, for a tour of the surrounding area from 1000 feet above South Texas. As he and his father made a precious dream come true for a young man facing a battle for his life, his family and supporters waited and watched on the monitor the path of their flight across the USS Lexington On The Bay Museum, the Bay Front and miles of fields ripe with sorghum.

“They are coming back in,” announced a member of the DCH Transport Team monitoring their path back to base where HALO-Flight keeps a dedicated aircraft for rapid door-to-door air medical service for the children of South Texas.  Hearing the announcement, everyone jumped up, ready to see how Caleb liked his dream trip.

Once the aircraft was completely shut down, O’Connor got out and helped Mr. Medrano and his son get out of the helicopter and family and new-found-friends rushed up to hear all about the dream trip details.

“He fell asleep,” chucked Mr. Medrano.

Perhaps dreams give us that kind of peace. And when the dream ride was over, Caleb was back in the arms of his family with a warm embrace honoring his bravery, both for today and for the days ahead.