Corporate Angel Network Flies 25,000th Cancer Patient

Corporate Angel Network Flies 25,000th Cancer Patient
Natalie, a 6-year-old cancer patient, boards PepsiCo’s airplane with and her mother.

Natalie, a 6-year-old cancer patient, boards PepsiCo’s airplane with and her mother.

Natalie was happy to be returning home after a week of treatment at New York’s Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center. The 6-year-old native Floridian travels to New York to see

Dr. Brian Kushner, a specialist in the treatment of neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer. But instead of working her way through security lines, risking delays from commercial airlines, and navigating cold and flu viruses in crowded airports with her weakened immune system, her flight was arranged by Corporate Angel Network, a nonprofit organization whose sole mission is to arrange flights on corporate business jets for cancer patients of all ages.

Consumer food and beverage company PepsiCo, a longtime participant in CAN, hosted the milestone flight for this little girl and her mother, who accompanied PepsiCo’s CEO on this flight.

“Working with Corporate Angel Network has given PepsiCo the opportunity to meet and support some very special, courageous people,” said Patrick Cunningham, PepsiCo’s director of aviation. “From the moment we completed our first CAN flight 23 years ago, we knew we were a part of something incredibly special. We’d like to see many more companies join the network and experience what it means to put an unused seat to such an honorable use for people in great need.”

When diagnosed with cancer, a family’s life changes forever. Treatment options and financial concerns are just part of the critical decisions that must be made. Many of those decisions center on acquiring the best treatment available and how to get to those locations. As is the case with many cancer patients, Natalie’s immune system isn’t equipped to fight off infection and exposure to colds or other ailments that could seriously jeopardize her life.

For many cancer patients and their families, traveling for medical reasons becomes a major financial burden. That’s why CAN has arranged for U.S. corporations to generously lend empty seats on available business flights to cancer patients traveling to recognized treatment facilities across the country.

Founded in 1981 and based in White Plains, N.Y., Corporate Angel Network, a public charity, now includes 530 participating corporations, along with a team of 50 part-time volunteers and five paid staff who work with patients, physicians, corporate flight departments and leading treatment centers to coordinate medical travel needs of cancer patients with the business flight schedules of participating corporations. Corporate Angel Network typically transports about 200 cancer patients a month.

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