Ex-pilot with Parkinson's, 84, flies one more time over fall foliage
MANCHESTER, N.H. - Myrta Gage found herself in a familiar place on Monday: in the cockpit of a plane.
The 84-year-old had been a pilot in her youth. But more recently, she’d been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.
According to the National Institutes of Health, Parkinson’s Disease is a brain disorder that leads to shaking, stiffness and difficulty with walking, balance and coordination. Famous Parkinson’s patients include Muhammad Ali, President George H.W. Bush, Rev. Jesse Jackson and Michael J. Fox.
Gage’s son, Earl, said his mom has struggled with day-to-day activities, so the family has made it their mission to help her bucket list "become reality as time allows and as her health allows."
That’s where Cody Mattiello came into play.
Earl contacted Mattiello, a fellow pilot, and Mattiello agreed to take Myrta and Earl up for a flight over Lake Winnipesaukee and Mount Kearsarge to see the fall foliage.
Mattiello gave control of the plane to Myrta Gage, saying he was was "happy to help a fellow aviator."
"As a New Hampshire born pilot I feel lucky to be able to share my love of aviation and be a part of making memories like this for others," Mattiello said in a Facebook post.
This story was reported from Atlanta.