11-year-old Campbell Faulkner wanted to make a difference in the world. In September of 2017 he created a nonprofit charity called “Campbell’s Crew Cares,” helping raise money to helping those in need.
In December, his charity helped 150 kids go on a Christmas shopping spree. His message of “Hope” inspired local pilots to make yesterday a day he would never forget.
“It was so amazing, I loved every moment.” Campbell told 12 News after he stepped off a Stearman bi-plane.
“He is just a special little boy and this is like a dream day for him,” said Carrie Faulkner, in awe after her son lifted off from Falcon Field. “Campbell’s has had a huge amount of challenges his whole life and so seeing him fly in an airplane in the front seat is just absolutely mind-blowing.”
Campbell has a diagnoses of mitochondrial disease, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, gastroparesis, autism, a restrictive lung and a few other illnesses. His body even struggles with taking on calories. So he was two feeding tubes in his belly to provide him food at all hours of the day.
But Campbell doesn’t see these as a challenge. He wanted to help others, creating his charity “Campbell Crew Cares.”
“I was in instant fan and just wanted to do something, something special for him” Mike Doyle, an American Airlines pilot said of Campbell.
Doyle recently met Campbell at a company Christmas party the two hit it off, Mike showing him his plane and learning all about Campbell’s charity.
“When I was walking through the hanger after meeting him, I stopped by his table and on the table on big green letters was the phrase ‘hope,’ and that’s my daughter’s name,” Doyle said. “We have battled a lot of things like you, so to see the phrase ‘hope,’ my daughter’s name, was another huge connection in this puzzle.”
Doyle offered to take Campbell up in his Stearman and Campbell couldn’t wait. Finally, Thursday was the date of takeoff.
Campbell loved to see a bird’s-eye view of things.
“The mountains were really cool,” Campbell said. “He flew right by one of the mountains where it’s a big cliff off the edge -- that was pretty fun to see. Then also some of his friends went and did acrobatic right next to us which was really cool. He did a loop and a roll and it was really fun to see.”
Campbell even got to take the controls.
“He’s flying the airplane. We had two planes on either side of us flying along with us so he’s got his first flight, has got his first formation flight,” Doyle said. “He saw some of the airplane to do aerobatics.”
If you’re inspired by Campbell’s commitment to helping others, you can learn more about Campbell’s Crew Cares here.