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Free flights, new drug give Clovis man hope

Reporter's Notebook

Gary Flintom of Clovis, who was diagnosed Jan. 15 with pancreatic cancer, is being treated in San Antonio, Texas, with a new experimental drug that can shrink tumors 70 to 80 percent, he said Friday.

His wife, Shyla, said Rubeticin is the name of the new drug.

Gary said he is only the 46th person in the world to be treated with the new drug, because he met the criteria needed to receive it.

In addition, he is flown for the treatment on private jets to San Antonio through a program called Angel Flight.

“Angel Flight is all over America,” Flintom said. “Sometimes I’m flown in Lear jets. We’re waiting for another pilot right now.”

Angel Flight is composed of people who volunteer their own time and money and fuel to helping others, he said.

“They actually fly us from Clovis Airport to San Antonio, and it’s all free,” he said.

Shyla said, “Our first pilot was an F-16 fighter pilot based at Cannon Air Force Base. Angel Flight is a wonderful thing, and it’s important that people know how to get hold of them.”

Angel Flight has a Web site,

“We got hooked up with Angel Flight through the clinic that treats Gary in San Antonio,” Shyla said. “The name of the clinic is the Cancer Therapy and Research Center.”

Reporter’s notebook was compiled by CNJ staff writer Michelle Seeber. Suggested items may be mailed to editor David Stevens at P.O. Box 1689, Clovis 88102. The e-mail address is:

[email protected].

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