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Posted on Friday March 04, 2016
Robbie assumes his position as Tactical Flight Officer on Air2.
Robbie assumes his position as Tactical Flight Officer on Air2.

For Robbie Suwary, a debilitating physical disorder is no limitation at all. It simply allows him to focus on better using his mind.

Robbie, who suffers from cerebral palsy, is chasing his loftiest dream: To become a pilot. And, against all odds, he's getting closer to it every day. 

The Grade 11 student is attending a private pilot program at Buttonville Municipal Airport in Markham and has already clocked several thousand hours of virtual flight. He cannot walk, has limited mobility in both his arms and legs and requires the assistance of his parents at all times to complete tasks required for living daily. Robbie, who attends classes in a wheelchair, is proficient in mathematics and physics which helps him to excel as a flight student.

That's where he met Constable Mina Rahravan, a Tactical Flight Officer (TFO) in the York Regional Police Air Support Unit. Constable Rahravan was in awe of Robbie, who was one of the youngest students in her navigation and flight instruments course. 

"Robbie is an outstanding example of how a powerful mind can overcome physical boundaries to fulfill his dreams," said Constable Rahravan.

Constable Rahravan knows what it's like to overcome obstacles on her way to achieving her dream of becoming a pilot. Growing up in Tehran, Iran, she was told that as a woman, her dream would never become a reality. 

As she forged a connection with Robbie, she wanted to grant him a brand new opportunity - the chance to join the Air Support Unit in Air2. On February 24, Robbie joined Constable Rahravan and the entire crew of Air2, sitting in the TFO's seat alongside the pilot.

"He had an unforgettable experience sitting in that seat," Constable Rahravan said. "His family was grateful to see the happiest smile ever on his face."

But flying isn't all fun and games for Robbie. He has another dream: to attend Ryerson University for aeronautical engineering.

This time, we'd say the odds are stacked in his favour.