Anonymous Donor Provides Plane for Terminally Ill Man to Come Home

Anonymous Donor Provides Plane for Terminally Ill Man to Come Home

by Kim Powell

NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - "We're just trying to get home," Martha Riggs said.

Riggs wants what any mother would want, a miracle. In this case, she just wants her dying son to be at home surrounded by family when he passes. Dr. Joshua Gaines, 31, was diagnosed with stage four colorectal cancer in March of 2013 and was only given two years to live. 

"He found out about his diagnosis right after he had finished all of his course work and everything," John Gaines, Joshua's brother, said. 

Joshua had just finished his medical degree and was offered a residency at the Cleveland Clinic for anesthesiology.

"He was really excited about that but really excited about helping the community and giving back," Gaines said. 

But with the devastating news, he became too sick to fulfill his dream. However, doctors say he is too fragile for the eight hour drive from Houston or by commercial plane. 

And that's when an anonymous donor stepped in. 

"There's just not words to express how I feel and what that person, that anonymous person, has done for us," Riggs said. 

Just 24 hours after creating a fundraising site, an anonymous donor offered to provide a private plane to fly Joshua home, as well as arrange for a nurse to be on the plane to help with his pain levels.

"That was just amazing. We're very, very happy and very thankful to God that Josh was going to be able to get back to us quickly," Gaines said. 

The fundraising site also reached its goal of $5,000. Any money that is above what they need will be donated to the American Cancer Society Hope House, something that this young doctor would have wanted. 

"Josh has been a great guy for this entire life," Gaines said.

"There's not much he can't do," Riggs said. 

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, where Joshua graduated from, released a statement to NewsWest 9 saying:
"Our hearts and prayers go our to our TTUHSC medical school graduate and his family as they are faced with an unimaginable struggle. As one of ours is going through the toughest of times, we are reminded everyday, that no matter what life brings, there are amazing folks walking among us. We are grateful for Tech alums helping each other. I know that I speak for all of us as Red Raiders- we are honored to help bring our graduate home to West Texas!"