It was love at first flight for Pete and Cheryl Pitzer.
The Dallas pilots met a little over 20 years ago when they were both flying for FedEx. They trained together, shared the same flight schedules for months, and fell head over heels. Today, they’re happily married — and teaming up in the cockpit for good.
Pete and Cheryl, 55 and 52 respectively, are volunteer pilots for Orbis. The nonprofit is “dedicated to bringing quality eye health to the world through training, research, and advocacy.” They also happen to be the organization’s first wife and husband team.
Together, the couple co-pilot Orbis’ Flying Eye Hospital, an MD-10 aircraft converted into a mobile teaching hospital. Onboard, volunteers help restore the vision of people in need. The organization also provides medical training to hospitals in developing countries. During their first Orbis flight in November, the couple flew to Dubai, Saudi Arabia, and Ghana, where they stuck around for a week to help out.
“The idea is to leave the knowledge behind so that people will have access to proper eye care after the plane is gone,” Cheryl told GMA. “For so many in the developing nations it’s everything, so it’s pretty amazing to be such a small part of a big vision, literally and figuratively, and be able to give back.”
“It’s awesome that we can share that experience together, to be there and see that together,” Pete added. “Cheryl and I have a great personal and working relationship and to be able to fly together and do stuff like this together, it’s just an interesting and incredible way to give back.”
Their next flight is scheduled for May, when they’ll be flying to Zambia. Once again, they’ll help spread the gift of sight.
What a beautiful way for Pete and Cheryl to bond! Even though they’ve been married for nine years, we’re sure this mission has brought them even closer together.
Share to spread the word about Orbis’ noble work, and feel free to donate to their cause here.
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