“I’m a cancer survivor. And about 40 years ago I had Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I lost 60 lbs., lost my hair…” Greg Cook explained. Since then, Greg’s story continues to intertwine with other cancer patients/survivors. Through Cook Cares, the philanthropic division of Cook Portable Warehouses, he and his team have been able to provide donations to St. Jude and personally flew cancer patients to special treatment centers.
At one time, Greg thought he was going to be a commercial aviator, he did become a pilot, but those skills he ended up using to not only further his business but also care for others. As commercial flights carry a greater risk of infection for cancer patients, he wanted to provide safer travel for them through the Corporate Angel Network. Greg understood all too well the risks for those patients and feels privileged he was able to help others walking through that same experience.
“I have some stories…I feel a little awkward talking about it because it’s not something I want recognition for,” Greg said as he reminisced on past flights.
Greg’s son is a retired army ranger and so veteran support is also part of who Cook is. Years ago, he personally flew 50 missions for the Veteran’s Airlift Command. This is a network of pilots who are able to fly wounded warriors who struggle to travel commercially. As Greg explained, for some even going through a metal detector when your body is full of steel is a challenge.
“It’s pretty humbling to be in an aircraft with a veteran sitting behind you that’s a double amputee. One silver star recipient, I took him to Minnesota for pain therapies. The guy got off the airplane… and salutes me….that’s why it’s special, it’s kind of hard to talk about,” Greg choked up as he recounted this humbling moment.
We’ve donated buildings for Habitat for Humanity, animal shelters and little league baseball teams over the years. Giving back is something that’s very special and we enjoy doing on lots of different levels. “You’ve got to determine what you can do of course, but we do lots of this in our different divisions. People support our business and some of those earnings should be given back,” Greg said. “It’s been important to us for as long as we’ve been in this business.”