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Belonging through ACCESS: A Connection with Joan Lunden | ACCESS

Belonging through ACCESS: A Connection with Joan Lunden

I lost my dad in a private plane crash off Crooked Island in the outer islands of the Bahamas. This is the sort of thing you hear about on the news, the sort of thing we have all become numb to because it will never happen to us¦until it does. In a split second my life changed in ways that I had never considered. The loss of a parent at the age of twenty-eight is a tragedy. My siblings and I were left with a large hole in our lives and in the fabric of our family. Its not something you can describe to someone who has not had a similar experience.

Recently I attended ACCESS 8th Annual Hearts, Clubs & Aces golf fundraiser in California. I sat in a room full of strangers but I felt a certain sense of belonging. Then when the guest of honor Joan Lunden spoke, I knew I was in the right place. She told of the fateful last flight her father took and the impact it had on her and her family. I had of course seen her on Good Morning America, but when she told her story, I felt a connection. Her story is eerily similar to my own. I was no longer alone on my journey as I realized there are countless others whose hearts also feel heavy and are raw with emotion from this type of tragedy. This is what ACCESS is all about. As the night came to a close and the last auction item was claimed, I left knowing that ACCESS continues doing what it does best: helping people cope with the present and prepare for the future.

Deb Hawkins lost her father on a private plane crash on 4/12/97

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Families We Have Helped:

Below are some of the air disasters that we have responded to:
Private Plane - 9/26/12
Rockingham County, VA
Private Plane - 2/27/11
Abu Dhabi
Private Plane - 12/22/10
Barrington, NY
Private Plane - 7/17/10
South Portland, ME
Air India Express 812 - 5/22/10
Mangalore, India
Afriqiyah Airways 8U771- 5/12/10
Tripoli, Libya
Ethiopian Airlines 409 - 1/25/10
Off of Na'ameh, Lebanon
Air France Flight 447 - 6/1/09
Atlantic Ocean
Turkish Airlines Flight 1951 - 2/25/09
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Continental Flight 3407 - 2/12/09
Clarence Center, NY
US Airways Flight 1549 - 1/15/09
Hudson River, NY
Aeroflot Flight 821 - 9/14/08
Perm, Russia
Spanair JK 5022 - 8/20/08
Madrid, Spain
TAM Airways JJ 3054 - 7/17/07
São Paulo, Brazil
Comair Flight 5191 - 8/27/06
Lexington, KY
Airbus A320-211 - 5/3/06
Off Sochi, Russia
Bellview Airlines - 10/23/05
Nigeria
West Caribbean Airways 708 - 8/16/05
Machiques, Venezuela
Air France Flight 358 - 8/2/05
Ontario, Canada
Kam Air Flight 904 - 2/3/05
Pamir Mountains, Afghanistan
Corporate Airlines 5966 - 10/19/04
Pettis Township, MO
Kish Airlines Flight 1770 - 2/10/04
United Arab Emirates
Georgian Express Flight 126 - 1/17/04
Ontario, Canada
Flash Airlines 604 - 1/3/04

Red Sea

Turkish Airlines 634 - 1/8/03

Diyarbakır Airport, Turkey

US Airways Express/Air Midwest Flight 5481 - 1/8/03

Charlotte, NC

American Flight 587 - 11/12/01

Queens, NY

The events of September 11, 2001

Private Plane - 12/3/00
Milltown, WI
Singapore Airlines 006 - 10/31/00

Chiang Kai-shek Internat'l Airport

Gulf Air Bus A320 - 8/23/00

Persian Gulf, Bahrain

Air France Concorde 4590 - 7/25/00

Gonesse, France

Alaska Airlines 261 - 1/31/00

Pacific Ocean

Egypt Air 990 - 10/31/99

Atlantic Ocean

American Airlines 1420 - 6/1/99

Little Rock, AR

Swissair 111 - 9/2/98

Atlantic Ocean

Private Plane - 8/4/98
Phillips, WI
TWA 800 - 7/17/96

US Air 427 9/8/94

Allegheny County, PA

Long Island, NY

Pan Am 103 - 12/21/88

Lockerbie, Scotland

TWA/United Airlines - Mid-Air Collision- 12/16/1960
Brooklyn & Staten Island, NY
and hundreds of other private, commercial and military air disasters

See Full List