Kids get break from therapy at Beaumont holiday party with airline pilots

Several kids and their families got a break from the stresses of therapy Friday night at a special holiday party with Beaumont. 

Dozens of families with kids in physical therapy and occupational therapy were invited, and they got to meet some special guests - pilots from Delta Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Selfridge Air National Guard Base and others.

"It's been very worthwhile, very rewarding," says Delta Airlines captain Jim Young. He's been making families smile at this holiday party for more than 20 years. 

"It makes me thankful for what I have and makes me thankful for bringing smiles to the faces of kids who are going through rehab or in the hospital and going through the trials and tribulations no one should have to go through," he said. 

And for staff like Ryan Barto the holiday party is a chance to connect with his patients outside therapy. 

"These patients and families have a lot going on every day. They have a lot to manage, a lot to take care of on a daily basis and this is a time for them to come relax, enjoy, fill their stomachs, fill their soul a little and have a lot of fun," he said. 

So while life for these families might not always be normal or easy it's the challenges that make them even more grateful for this holiday party. 

For Maureen Sharp, her 8-year-old son Jackson and 4-year-old daughter Madeline, life is not what most would consider normal. Both Jackson and Madeline struggle with seizures and have cerebral palsy. 

"Our normal day isn't just get them off to school, it's get them to school then Jackson comes to [occupational therapy] then while Jackson's in school she's in [physical therapy]. It's a lot of traveling it's a lot of driving," says Maureen Sharp. 

For the past two and a half years the Sharps have come to Beaumont for therapy three times a week. 

"It's been rough but the family here at Beaumont has been tremendous and that's exactly what they are," Maureen said. 

This holiday party is sponsored by Pilots for Kids and the Children's Miracle Network. This is their third event for the holidays this year.