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Brenda Bolkema, left, poses with pilot Jim Hassenstab, who stands next to her, and another couple at the Fremont Airport. Hassenstab flew Bolkema to Fremont for free during the flooding on March 17 so she could care for her mother. Bolkema's mother died the next day. 

When floodwaters cut off roads in and out of Fremont, they also threatened to maroon a woman on her deathbed and keep her daughter from visiting during her final days.

A selfless pilot brought the two together.

Brenda Bolkema regularly drove the 2½ hours from her home in Sheldon, Iowa, to a Fremont nursing home to visit her adoptive mother, Vicki Anson, who was battling lung and bone cancer.

Just as the flood isolated Fremont and cut off access to roads in and out, Anson’s condition worsened.

Anson was told she had only days to live. Her daughter wasn’t sure she would see her mom again.

Bolkema frantically called around on Sunday, March 17, searching for any way into town. It took only a couple of hours before she found Jim Hassenstab.