My Eli Story – Chris Comly

Eli and Chris take a flight

Eli and Chris take a flight

My Eli story is one I wanted to tell at Eli’s service but I knew I just could not do so.  I read a post about Eli and Paul’s request to help raise money to fight cancer on the XLForum which I have been a member of for years and I was shocked.  I had never known any kids that have had this horrible disease.  Like many other forum members I promptly made a donation. I began following Eli’s story on the forum and at one point sent a message to Paul offering to take Eli up for a plane ride. I did not receive a response from Paul so every once in a while I would send him a message with my offer as soon as Eli was up to it.  I am sure Paul thought I was crazy!  As Eli’s health improved and he started selling lemonade as his Alex’s and Eli’s Lemonade stand some other members and I started making the ride down to Oxford to support him and I met Eli for the first time.  All I can say is wow, what a great kid.  There was just something about him that made you want to be his friend.

Finally in September 2008, Paul accepted my invitation and we discussed the flight.  Due to Eli’s medication making him nauseous, Paul was unsure if Eli would be able to make a long flight so we agreed to make a quick flight around the pattern at Chester County Airport which was near their house. Eli, Paul, and Austin made the flight with Eli sitting up front with me.  We made the trip around the traffic pattern and landed and I asked Eli if he was ok.  He said he was and I don’t recall exactly what he said next but a few moments latter we were back in the air flying around the area.  We probably spent 45 minutes or so flying about. Eli even got to fly the plane for a bit and I could tell he was a natural!  After we landed we all had lunch together. If I recall, Eli was grinning ear to ear the entire time.

Unfortunately, Eli got sick again before we could go for another flight. I had hoped to take Eli up past New York City to see the Statue of Liberty from the air, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be.  When Eli got sick for the last time I was devasted like everyone else, and was in shock when he passed.  As I sat there in the church listening to all his friends and family talk about Eli I started to think about life in general.  At the time I was probably 50 or so pounds overweight, with only myself to blame for it.  Here I was at a funeral service for a 10 year old who was taken from us by this horrible disease through no fault of his own.  It was at that point I decided to take my health back and start losing the weight I had told myself I would lose for the last few years. Its been a long fight, but I have since lost 25 pounds.

Thats my story on how Eli touched me.

Pilot Eli

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.