Actor Patrick Swayze, who recently revealed that he is battling pancreatic cancer, is already receiving the best medical care available, and the outpouring of public sympathy has surely boosted his spirits. But what’s really lifting the Ghost star in this tough time are the hours he spends aloft in his private plane with his wife of 33 years, Lisa Niemi.
In addition to their flights to and from Stanford University Medical Center for Patrick’s chemotherapy, the couple, both licensed and experienced pilots, have been flying the friendly skies together as much as possible.
"Patrick and Lisa share two great passions: planes and horses," one insider explains to OK!. "And being able to do what they love most — and do it together — is helping them to remain as optimistic as posssible."
The Swayzes love flying so much that in only one day last week, the couple hopped around California and Nevada for over 11 hours in their 11-seat Beechcraft Super King Air 200. Starting out in Van Nuys, they made a brief jaunt to Daugherty Field in Long Beach, Calif., before heading up the coast to the scenic Monterey Peninsula.
But that wasn’t the end of their travels — over the next several hours they flew five more times, including a quick stopover in Las Vegas. A rep for Patrick confirms to OK! that, for now, it is Lisa who is doing the flying.
Ironically, the Swayzes almost had a brush with the immortal in 2006 when their other plane, a Cessna 414a, was forced to make an emergency landing after the plane’s right engine lost power en route to their horse ranch in New Mexico.
This is the same plane that, in 2000, Patrick landed on a dirt road in an under-construction housing development in Arizona after experiencing problems with cabin pressure.