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Old 08-01-2012, 07:14 PM
Flyin'Bryan's Avatar
Flyin'Bryan Flyin'Bryan is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Littleton, Colorado
Posts: 271
Default It was a pleasure meeting Alex and his Dad....

I was especially happy when they showed up at my camp site all excited about going to see the movie Red Tails at the the Fly in Theater, and that I was able to offer up a couple of chairs when they mentioned that they had none to sit in while at the movie.

I was really bumbed when they arrived back a short time later because mother nature had decided to unleash its fury on KOSH shortly after the movie started. Oh well, we tried at least.

On a final note, since his stay was cut a bit short due to travel plans, and he was not able to attend the night airshow and fireworks on Saturday night, I shot some video of that awesome event (as I am sure countless hundreds of others did also), and I will put together a DVD or something for him when I get a chance.

Kudos to you Mike, and to everyone else involved, but especially to Alex for beating that disease into submission enough to allow him to have a great experience up there.
Bryan Raley
Building RV8
EAA Chapter 301
SportAir Workshop Graduate x 4: Sheet Metal, RV Building, Electrical, and Composite classes.
Tail Wheel Endorsement Completed
Empennage done, Wings in progress, N462AK reserved.
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:38 PM
Pmerems's Avatar
Pmerems Pmerems is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 831
Default My thoughts and a post from Alex

I returned home from Oshkosh and got back into the workweek grind. After setting into my normal routine I finally got a chance to post my thoughts and experiences with Alex and his father Alejandro Cuellar.

First off I want to personally thank everyone who contributed to a very successful “RV make a wish” for the Cuellar’s. I was just another RV guy who cared enough to put in a little time and energy to raise funds to help make a dream come true.

I arrived late Saturday night at the Christian School and was hoping to hear that Alex and Alejandro had arrived safely. They did and I found them in the common area putting a puzzle together. I have never met them before and only spoke to Alejandro the day before to arrange a few things and most importantly give them the money that was collected. I sat down and started talking with Alejandro and soon Alex joined in. Alex is a quite and reserved young man. When he speaks he truly has something to say.

The next day was a very important day. I Spend the good part of the morning making sure they got their wrist bands and found their golf cart. I can not emphasize enough how the golf cart was their magic carpet. As many know you do a tremendous amount of walking at Oshkosh and even for the seasoned Airventurer it is very tiring. It was record heat for a few days and when Alex was hot and tired they went to the museum. They found a pond near the museum with some shade trees and used it as a rest stop if Alex was feeling tired or weak. Alex surprise me because he seemed to have more energy then I did. He took in so many things at the show. He was interviewed on the EAA radio (by Bob Collins) and soon it will be available for downloading and I will post the link.

Meeting Alex and Alejandro was inspiring. I am a father as well and many times when listing to Alex tell about his struggle or when I was telling others about Alex it took all I had not to start crying.

I asked Alex to write up a brief summary of his trip. Here is what he sent.

Paul, can you post this on the website?

Going to Oshkosh was a lot of fun; I sat in Johnny Depps seat on the tri-motor, got to fly in the one of a kind B-29, saw George Lucas with the Tuskeegee Airmen, and got see so many great Airplanes. The coolest part of the trip was the B-29 ride, because it had such a great view from the gunners position on the top and in the back, and you could feel the history of such an aircraft. It was the type of plane that is terrifying and peacemaking at the same time.
Thank you Mike rettig for organizing this trip, Gary Zilik for the young eagles flight and the tremendous donation, Jim Berry for the second flight in the RV-10, Mike Dooley and Chad Jensen for the golf carts, Dwight Drefs for the ride to AirVenture, Paul Merems for raising the money for the trip, Oshkosh Christian School for the room, the Ray Allen Company, and all of the donors. And thank to anybody that I may have missed. You all made this trip so Amazing and you will forever be in my heart.

Thank you,

Alex and Alejandro are very special and if you ever get a chance to meet them you will be fortunate.

Once again thank you all for helping making this happen. We all did a great thing.

If Alex wants to go to Oshkosh next year, I am ready and willing to help make it happen again. I think he may want to volunteer at Airventure.
Dream it, Build it, Fly it

Paul Merems (EAA Tech Counselor, EAA Sheetmetal Workshop Instructor/Volunteer 18 yrs)
ExperimentalAero-HANGAR BANNERS
RV-7A (Flying since 2010)/RV-4 (sold 1990)
Tucson, Arizona 85749

Last edited by zilik : 08-02-2012 at 07:12 AM.
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:45 PM
DeltaRomeo DeltaRomeo is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Highland Village, TX
Posts: 4,260
Thumbs up

That was simply wonderful, Paul. Thank you, and Mike, and everyone that did this.

Doug Reeves (your host)
  • Full time: since '07 (started it in '96).
  • Part time: Contract Pilot (PIC type in Embraer Phenom 300). Flying resume.
  • Part time: Phenom 300 (currently) and Gulfstream 450/550 (soon) Seat Support at CAE (KDFW).
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:37 AM
eisnerrv4 eisnerrv4 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Halifax, NS
Posts: 180
Thumbs up Alex

I was fortunate to be staying in the same room as Alex and Alejandro and yes they are truely two special people. This was my first trip to Oshkosh and spending time with them made the trip even more memorable.

Hope to see them again someday.
Brian Eisner
Bedford Nova Scotia
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:48 AM
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Lemmingman Lemmingman is offline
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: McKinney, TX
Posts: 689
Default EAA radio

Bob Collins had a nice interview with them on the radio last week (Monday I think). I dont know if the radio shows are going to be available, but if they are it is worth giving it a listen.
Gil Brice
McKinney, TX EAA-1246
RV7 - Working on fuse, fuel, brakes etc...
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:37 AM
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ppilotmike ppilotmike is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 2,017
Default Embedded Pictures

Sorry guys. i keep trying to fix the embedded photos in the first writeup, but I can't seem to get them to work. I even downloaded the few pics to a new album on Picasa and tried to embed them again. I guess I need to take a class from Scott Schmidt, who seems to have great pictoral writeups. Hopefully you all can still see the original album and can peruse their pics that way. As Paul said, it was a good thing we did for Alex and his family. Thanks again to everyone for their support.
Mike Rettig
EAA Chapter 301
VAF Dues Current
RV-10 - Working on engine / prop installation
F-14 (Pedal Plane - Daughter's Project) "Flying"
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:16 AM
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cjensen cjensen is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Milwaukee, WI area
Posts: 2,974

This was something that just felt right in every sense of the word, and it worked out flawlessly to get Alex and Alejandro the experience we all envisioned for them.

Great work everyone, and I'm so happy to have met both of them last week.
Chad Jensen
Astronics AES, Vertical Power
RV-7, 5 yr build, flew it 68 hours, sold it, miss it.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:43 PM
Cipher Cipher is offline
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Longview WA
Posts: 22
Default Alex's Oshkosh Video - at Van's Dinner Banquet

Below is the video link from Vans Banquet where Alex talks to the 300+ people who attended.

He delivers a great message.
George Ford
RV-4 N83SB Flying 0320 160hp CS
RV-8 N848MC Flying IFR IO360 CS
RV-8 QB Fuselage in progress.
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Old 08-13-2012, 06:59 AM
mcuellar mcuellar is offline
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Centennial, Colorado
Posts: 2
Default Big Thanks from Alex's Mom!

Hello VAF Family,

I wanted to write to express my gratitude towards all the wonderful people who made it possible for Alejandro and Alex to go to AirVenture.

It all started with a visit to Mike Rettig's house to see how he was building a plane in his garage. Alex was finally out of the hospital and slowly regaining energy after months of chemo/radiation and many weeks in the hospital, when he was finally good enough to go see how Mike was building an RV plane in is garage.

Mike was awesome, he explained things so well to Alex, and even let Alex rivet two pieces of metal together for practice. Alex did a great job, but did not last too long, he became very tired quickly, so his experience with Mike was fairly short. During that short visit Mike asked if Alex has ever been to Oshkosh, and Alex, replied, ?no?, but he would love to go.

Mike took the ball and ran with it, posting on the VAF forum, asking for help to get Alex to Oshkosh, and then boom, people started to donate time, money, and services. When I heard that this idea was becoming a reality, I was really excited for Alex, because he had a real rough year, and I just wanted nothing more than for Alex to start enjoying life again. Alex loves planes, and loves to fly them, so for him, to have the opportunity to go to Oshkosh, it was a dream come true.

This trip was not only for Alex, but his Dad too. Spending fun time with Alex was much needed. Alejandro took care of Alex a lot, while I still worked to maintain the health insurance and pay the bills. It was very hard on Alejandro, to see his son sick all day. I know, because it was very hard for me too. It took so much out of us, to not show Alex our fears and sadness.

Everyday we count our blessing and pray for continued recovery & remission. The one thing it taught our family, is to live life to the fullest. Take the time out of your busy schedule to spend time with your loved ones. Don't take things for granted. It also taught us that we now have an opportunity to give back. We want to help other families of a child with cancer through the rough times of cancer treatment, through volunteer work and support groups.

I want to thank to thank everyone who made this dream come true.

Mike Rettig ? thank you for making Alex's dream a reality, by dedicating a lot of time into planning and posting information to the VAF's website

Dwight Drefs ? thank you for flying Alejandro and Alex out to Oshkosh

Paul Mermens ? thank you for raising money for the trip

Gary Zilik for the young eagles flight and the tremendous donations

Jim Berry for taking Alex up in your awesome RV-10

Mike Dooley and Chad Jensen for the golf carts, Alex and Alejandro were able to see a lot more of Airventure, without getting too exhausted.

Oshkosh Christian School for the accommodation

& Ray Allen Company and all the other donors.

I want to also take this opportunity to thank Doug Reeves, for sending the proceeds of the annual baseball cap sale. We are just so touched by all the generosity and love.

Thank you!
Michelle Cuellar (Alex's Mom)
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Old 08-13-2012, 07:31 AM
mcuellar mcuellar is offline
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Centennial, Colorado
Posts: 2
Default Thank you Doug Reeves!


I want to personally thank you for creating this forum for airplane enthusiast to communicate/learn/grow from one another, and be a community of friends/family. Alex would not have been able to go to Oshkosh this year without Mike posting a request on this forum.

Not only did Alex go to Oshkosh, but he learned the power of a community coming together, donating time and money to help a young man fulfill a dream.

A check was received this weekend from you (VAF), and Avery Tools. It was unexpected and very nice gesture. It warms my heart to know how much people care about Alex and what he has gone through.

What you do by donating the proceeds every year to some unfortunate event, really makes a difference in someone's life. We will pay it forward.

With Love and Gratitude!
Michelle Cuellar (Alex's Mom)

[ed. May God Bless you and your family, Michelle. Thank you for the kind words. dr

Last edited by DeltaRomeo : 08-13-2012 at 09:38 AM.
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