MESA, Ariz. - George Alvarado, a man with terminal cancer, his wife and son are back in the Valley after a bucket-list trip to Washington ended with a troubling experience for the family.
All three were kicked off an Allegiant Air flight back to Phoenix Mesa Gateway from Bellingham, Wash., after 7-year-old Giovanni had an allergic reaction to dogs on the plane.
It was possibly Alvarado's last chance to visit his sister in Bellingham because of his illness.
They made it back to the Valley Wednesday night on a different flight.
Alvarado says the attendants on the original flight were accommodating at first and allowed them to change seats to stay away from the animals on board. They came back later to ask Alvarado and his family to get off the plane.
As they walked off, Alvarado says some of the passengers applauded. It''s a moment he said his family will never forget.
Meantime, Alvarado says he wants to move on from this experience, hoping to make a difference for others.
"We'll see what's next on my bucket list, and I want to talk to people," he said. "That's my main thing while I'm still alive."
With stage-four throat cancer, doctors aren't able to give him an exact prognosis. He was anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months to live.
He's final days are tough to come to grips with for little Giovanni, who Alvarado and his wife starting caring for when he was only 4 months old. He said he's sad this cruel encounter forms part of his final memories with his father.
"People that do not have sadness should know ... what sadness feels like when they have somebody in the family or somebody that's sick, and they have to deal with that," said Giovanni.