Marcus Smith, 6, got a "spin around the block" in the Fontana Police Department's new Robinson R66 helicopter, which sports a powerful turbine engine.
Officially, Marcus didn't have much to say about the ride, other than "those things on the ears (headphones) were boring."
But his mother, Antoinette Smith, 38, said he looked out the window the whole time and kept pointing out things for her to see.
And on the ride home afterward, he briefed his sisters, Courtney, 7, and Kristen, 4, about the trip, Smith said.
The two girls would have liked to have taken a helicopter ride but couldn't fit into the cockpit.
The helicopter ride started outside the Fontana Police Department's hangar at the Rialto Municipal Airport and continued with a flyover of Smith's Fontana house and Auto Club Speedway, and back to the hangar in Rialto.
On Wednesday, Marcus will begin four days of radiation therapy on his head and spine, followed on Jan. 7 by four days of radiation therapy over the rest of his body, his mother said.
"Both have many potential side effects," Smith said.
The head and spin therapy is the most dangerous, she said, with brain damage among the potential unintended consequences.
Marcus' life depends on finding a match for a bone-marrow transplant. Potential donors will be screened at an event Jan. 6 at Etiwanda Gardens.
"They say it's only about a 50 percent chance the bone-marrow procedure will work," Smith said. "If it does, he will remember today for the rest of his life."
Marcus was diagnosed with his difficult-to-cure leukemia in July.
The turbine engine helicopter used by the Fontana Police Department is the first of its kind to be manufactured by Torrance-based Robinson Helicopter Co. It has been flown by Fontana for about a month.
The department also operates a Robinson R44, which is smaller and less powerful.
Fontana police have teamed up with the Colton, Rialto and Redlands police departments to provide air support for patrol operations, which helps defray Fontana's expenses for operating two helicopters.
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