White Plains, NY–Corporate Angel Network arranged its 48,000th cancer patient flight on June 11, 2015. Onboard was 48 year old colon cancer patient James Etherton accompanied by his wife Tammy. A Cessna Citation belonging to Blue Beacon International, Inc., flew them from treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City to their home in Mechanicsburg Illinois.
“Tammy and I would like to express our appreciation to Corporate Angel Network and Blue Beacon for being so generous” said Jim Etherton. “Once a month I need to fly to New York for treatment. The fact that they were able to alleviate the financial burden and stress of flying commercial will never be forgotten”,Etherton continued. “Getting diagnosed with cancer is a life changing experience. The silver lining to that cloud, however, is that we have come to realize how many great people there are out there willing to help in our time of need. It makes me want to beat this that much more so that one day I can do the same for others!”
Blue Beacon International, a CAN participating company since 1992, also flew the Etherton’s to treatment on June 6, 2015.
“It was a good feeling to be able to help someone while doing my daily duties” said pilot Bill Breitenbach. “I know Blue Beacon was happy to assist in achieving this impressive milestone and we hope to do even more flights to help meet the next milestone”.
Corporate Angel Network, based at Westchester County Airport, arranges free transportation for cancer patients to specialized treatment by using the empty seats on corporate jets already flying to the desired destinations. Since its first flight in 1981 and thanks to the generosity of business aviation, CAN, a 501(c)(3) organization with Public Charity status, has provided 48,000 flights to adults and children whose best treatment options are often thousands of miles from home. Thirty volunteers along with a small staff coordinate the medical travel needs of cancer patients with the scheduled flight activity of more than 500 participating corporations (including half the Fortune 100) resulting in 225 to 250 patient flights each month. The organization has received numerous awards in recognition of its service to cancer patients including The Volunteer Action Award, the highest volunteer award from the President of the United States.