EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (WCCO) — For most kids, the police escort and limo would equal the ride of a lifetime, but for Dawson Parker and Terrique Powell, it was just the start.

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They got the red carpet treatment at Flying Cloud Airport in Eden Prairie, and a chance to ride in vintage World War II planes.

“These kids need a break from the hospital and need a reason to smile,” said Zach Quinn, CEO and Founder of Love Your Melon, an organization that sells hats and helps kids in hospitals.

“We want to re-instill some spark in them,” he said. “Give them a reason to smile and be happy, and this really does that.”

Terrique and his 9-year-old sister Jayla are here from Alaska, where their parents are both stationed in the Air Force. Both got to fly, but Terrique picked a former Navy plane to celebrate his 13th birthday.

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“He’s feeling very honored and special,” said his mother Jaywana. “Today’s his birthday and he gets to pick Popeye’s plane.”

Dawson has been in Minnesota since April, getting treatment for a rare disease called Fanconi Anemia. He flies model planes back home in Alabama, and couldn’t wait to fly in one of the T-6 Thunders.

“It’s just awesome to see him be normal,” said his mother Penni. “That’s what he said yesterday, ‘I don’t know why I have this, but I just want to be normal.’”

Or high in the sky, enjoying a view few other kids do.

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Love Your Melon started as a business class idea at the University of St. Thomas. It donates one hat to a sick kid for every one sold on its website, along with funding these good deeds.