Six pilots visit with patients as part of their Adventure Bear program


Six United Airlines pilots made a special landing at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital (LLUCH) last month. The pilots visited with patients Thursday, Dec. 22 as part of their Adventure Bear program, which supports children’s hospitals throughout the United States.

The pilots visited with kids and gave them an Adventure Bear known as the “Flyin’ Ben Bear,” to keep. In the photo, United Airlines pilot Fabio Silveira visited with LLUCH patient Ryan Byrne, 2, of Apple Valley.

“The holiday season is a time for reflection, compassion and love; and it's also a time for giving,” Silveira stated. “One can't begin to fathom the pain and suffering these children endure. To be able to bring them joy and cheer is the biggest gift one could ask for. The smiles we receive from the children and their parents when we gift those bears and say ‘hello’ are the reason why we come out.”

Silveiro attributed the success of the program to the selfless help of the amazing pilot group, as well as his wife Caren, that donated their time during the holidays to help in this noble cause. The other pilots who attended were Rosely Netrefa, John Oros, Ken Kirkpatrick and Bob Pflibsen.

The pilots agree that delivering the bears to the “little angels” at LLUCH was an amazing experience, which will not be forgotten. “We look forward to doing it again next year,” Silveira said.

Photo caption: United Airlines pilot Fabio Silveira visited with LLUCH patient Ryan Byrne, 2, of Apple Valley on Thursday, Dec. 22.

About Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital - LLUCH

The Children’s Hospital is the only dedicated pediatric hospital in the vast geographic region of San Bernardino, Riverside, Inyo and Mono counties. With 348 beds dedicated just for kids, one of the largest Neonatal Intensive Care Units in the country and more than 100,000 children who come each year, LLUCH is a major pediatric teaching facility, known worldwide as the pioneer of neonatal heart transplantation. LLUCH is part of Loma Linda University Health – the umbrella organization encompassing Loma Linda University’s eight professional schools, Loma Linda University Medical Center’s six hospitals and more than 900 faculty physicians located across the Inland Empire in Southern California. A Seventh-day Adventist organization, Loma Linda University Health is a faith-based health system with a mission “to continue the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus Christ.”

Press Contacts

Briana Pastorino - Manager, Public Relations