How a 9-year-old helps with flight for life

Boy gives up birthday gifts to donate to flight fo

DENVER - Flight for Life has been saving lives in Colorado for 40 years. That is ancient history to 7Everyday Hero Drew Madayag. He is only nine years old. But he is an old friend to Flight for Life Colorado.

Drew's father is a trauma surgeon at Saint Anthony Hospital, the main base for Colorado's Flight for Life operations. Drew recently visited the hospital to drop off a check.

"My birthday party was a really big success and I just wanted to present the money I raised," said Drew.

Instead of getting birthday presents, Drew asks his friends to help Flight for Life Colorado.

"His first fundraiser birthday party he raised $173 and we were so completely proud," said Drew's mom, Holly Madayag.

This year's check was for $4,021.

"This year when we compiled the donations we had to get a cashierÂ’s check," Holly said.

"Between Drew's enthusiasm and my wife's ability to get it done it really was successful," added Drew's father, Robert.

Drew has now donated more than $7,000. He has been doing this since he was 5 years old.

"When he was little he was just fascinated with the orange helicopters in the sky," said Holly.

"And I asked her: 'Can I help them?' and she said I was a little too young," said Drew, laughing.

This year, Flight for Life Colorado has another reason to make Drew happy.

"Drew, we would like to offer you a birthday present even though it is late. We would like to offer you a ride in the helicopter with your dad," said Kathleen Mayer, program director of Flight for Life Colorado.

Drew eagerly accepted the invite. He and his dad took a 15-minute trip around the Denver metro in a Flight for Life helicopter.

"It is extraordinary for someone his age to be that unselfish and that creative about what to do with his birthday presents," said Mayer.

"It is the men and women who work for Flight for Life who are the real heroes, not me. I am just doing easy stuff," said Drew.

To learn more about Flight for Life Colorado, go to

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