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Dozens of kids flying free of their critical illnesses at Free To Be Event

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WINTERVILLE, N.C. -

They've been fighting for their lives, but on Saturday they got the chance to just be regular kids.

More than 60 children suffering from critical illnesses, like cancer and diabetes, spent the day at the South Oaks Aerodrome in Winterville, N.C.

It was all part of the Free To Be Me event. Organizer, Mike Roberson, says the event aims to bring Riley's Army, Beaus Buddies, and Dream Factory children and their families to enjoy a day of fun, food, and flights in an airplane or helicopters.

"We have a lot of families that because of medical bills, they just can't afford to go anywhere for a vacation or to have fun with their families. This is a great day to for them to come out and just have fun," said Roberson.

Starneisha Maye is mother of nine-year-old Anthony Mabry. Mabry's been battling leukemia since he was just two-years-olds. Maye says Saturday's event is about seeing her children smile.

"Takes their mind away from what they're dealing with in their bodies, and it just channels their minds into another whole atmosphere, and put a smile on their faces," said Maye.

"It feels like I don't have cancer anymore," Mabry.

This is Mabry's second time coming to Free to be Me event; but this year he got ride in a plane with his sister, who had never flown in plane before.

"We want the children to come out with their brothers and sisters and just be a big family of fun laughter and build memories together as a full family and not half of them at the hospital and the other half at home," said Roberson.

Mabry is expected to be finished up his second round of treatment this July. His family plans to throw him a victory party to commemorate his seven-year battle with cancer.

This is the second annual Free To Be Me Event.

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