ATLANTA, GA – This year 14 million cancer survivors are celebrating birthdays. While survival rates have drastically improved, Delta Air Lines and the American Cancer Society are working to put an end to cancer all together. Today at 112 airports around the world Delta is hosting the 7th annual Delta Day of Hope to finish the fight.
“You may have heard that Delta is cancelling cancellations thanks to our industry-leading operational reliability, well we’re cancelling cancer too,” said Bill Lentsch, Delta’s Senior Vice President – Airport Customer Service and Airport Operations. “Cancer touches the lives of far too many people. That’s why Delta employees started Delta Day of Hope, encouraged that one day no one would have to face the physical and emotional challenges of this disease.”
Delta Day of Hope is a worldwide celebration taking place in airports from Atlanta to Narita. The global event is modeled after the Society’s popular Relay For Life, where communities across the globe come together to honor cancer survivors, remember lost loved ones and fight back against a disease that has already taken too much.
Delta has partnered with the Society for 14 years and has committed to exceed its 2015 fundraising total. That means raising more than $1.7 million in 2016. And the airline is well on its way, having collected more than $1 million for the Society so far this year.
“As we celebrate the country’s 14 million cancer survivors through Relay For Life, we also recognize and support the caregivers who walk beside them through their journeys,” said the Crystal Mantooth- American Cancer Society Vice President, Community Engagement- South Atlantic Division. “The cancer fight isn’t one we can win alone We need friends like Delta and their employees who have been incredible partners for more than 14 years, raising millions of dollars to create a world free from the pain and suffering of cancer.”
This year, the Society is shining a light on caregivers and the critical role they play. Keith Fidler is the Delta Station Manager in Charlotte and a cancer survivor. He shared his story at Delta’s Worldwide Headquarters’ on May 5, where Delta people gathered for one of the largest corporate Relay For Life activations.
“As a survivor, the only thing I could think about was beating cancer,” Fidler explained, fighting back tears. “I have a loving wife who took care of everything else, everything.”
Since cancer doesn’t take a holiday, neither do Delta’s efforts to annihilate it. To raise awareness, inspire prevention and support programs provided by the Society, a Boeing 767-400 takes daily trips to destinations around the globe featuring an American Cancer Society logo near the nose of the aircraft.
In addition to fundraisers throughout the year, Delta kicks things up in May with Delta Day of Hope, Relay For Life and the Delta Jet Drag, an epic tug-of-war battle that pits teams of 20 against a Boeing 757.