Sapulpa Senior Battling Cancer Takes Flight Before Graduation

Thursday, May 19th 2016, 11:00 pm
By: Emory Bryan

Sapulpa's senior class graduates Friday, but Thursday, one of their own took flight; it was a brief time that Drake Roubik could spend not constantly thinking about his health.

Drake is 18 years old with dreams of flying for the military, but cancer is delaying his plans.

Thursday, as Drake he walked out to the hangar, he looked to have all the confidence of a pilot ready to take off. But, when he crawled into the cramped cockpit of an original Spartan plane, it was more "kid in a candy store," and that was just the beginning.

Roubik is 18 and he has cancer, and surgeons have removed as much of a brain tumor as they could. Now he's in the middle of a long course of chemo.

“He'll be in Memphis doing chemo until January, so anything he can get to do and do right now…” said Drake’s father Darrell Clark.

And this was one of the things he wanted to do, take a flight. So, Spartan College arranged for more than just that - one of their best airplanes, with room for his family and Drake in the pilot's seat.

He had flown once before, at Spartan last year, and hoped he would be getting ready to start training soon; but the diagnosis came in February and all that stopped.

“His dreams were put on hold, of becoming a pilot, because of this dreaded disease. And I just thought, it's a good chance to get him in an airplane one more time before he continues with the rest of this battle he has ahead of him,” said Brian Daniels with Spartan.

That was forgotten once they were in the air, flying over Sapulpa, Lake Keystone then a lap around Tulsa.

Drake thought he was shaky on the controls, but his passengers didn't seem to notice.

"This is something that's been high on my list for a while, and these experiences help a lot," he said.

Drake graduates in Sapulpa Friday, then, leaves Saturday for St. Jude in Memphis to start the next round of chemo.

If you'd like to help, a fundraising site has been set up, you can donate here.