Las Vegas – UFC®, the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization, today announced its continued support for Miracle Flights, the nation’s leading medical flight charity, through 2019. Earlier this year, UFC donated funds that will continue to assist Miracle Flights’ mission to provide free commercial flights for children in need of specialized medical care far from home. The gift marked an extension of UFC’s national charitable partnership with Miracle Flights and is part of a larger gift package totaling $40,000.
“We are proud to continue our support of Miracle Flights and further assist families across the country to help ease their financial burden of travel to obtain the life-changing care they need,” UFC Chief Operating Officer Ike Lawrence Epstein said.
Established in 1985, Miracle Flights provides approximately 600 free flights each month to children with rare and life-threatening medical conditions. To date, the charity has provided more than 120,000 flights.
“Every flight we provide is only possible because of the support we receive from generous donors and partners such as UFC,” said Miracle Flights CEO Mark E. Brown. “UFC’s investment in Miracle Flights represents a tremendous gift of hope to so many families who thought they had none. We are beyond grateful to have UFC support Miracle Flights and give our kids a fighting chance to live a healthier life. We are challenging all additional donors and partners to match this donation through Monday, December 31, as part of our matching challenge initiative.”
UFC first announced its partnership with the Las Vegas–based Miracle Flights in September 2017 with the release of a joint PSA featuring UFC Hall of Famer Forrest Griffin and 12-year-old Levi Krystosek from Ocean Springs, Mississippi, who suffers from Jansen’s Metaphyseal Chondrodysplasia, an exceptionally rare form of dwarfism with only 28 known cases in the world. Levi began flying with Miracle Flights at the age of three and has since received 20 flights to see specialists in Chicago, Illinois, and Wilmington, Delaware. His 21st flight is scheduled for December.
“Levi is like many of the children Miracle Flights serves in that he has a rare condition that cannot be treated by doctors in his local community, which makes travel a necessity,” said Brown. “Most of these families are already facing steep medical bills, so the cost of travel is a tremendous, and often insurmountable, financial burden. With UFC’s support, Miracle Flights is able to lift that burden and make it possible for more families to get their child the care he or she needs, wherever it may be.”
The partnership with Miracle Flights is supported through UFC’s social responsibility initiative “We Are All Fighters,” which the global brand introduced in 2016 with a goal to celebrate the fighter in everyone and lend support to organizations that help individuals overcome adversity. For more information, please visit www.miracleflights.org.