Aflac Honors Leaders in Fight Against Childhood Cancer
COLUMBUS, Ga., Sept. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Aflac (AFL) , the number one provider of supplemental insurance in the United States, announced today that the company is honoring two heroes in the fight against childhood cancer with their first ever Aflac Duckprints Award. The first awards will be presented to former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz and Aflac Cancer Center of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Director Dr. William G. Woods. On hand to kick off the ceremony will be Atlanta sportscaster and cancer survivor Ernie Johnson, Jr.
Bailey Moody, a brave 11 year-old girl diagnosed in 2012 with an aggressive form of cancer called osteosarcoma, will represent children and families facing cancer. She underwent a remarkable procedure called Rotationplasty, where her leg was detached and then reattached backwards enabling her ankle joint to function as her knee joint. A prosthetic is attached to her foot to facilitate walking and running. Bailey is currently practicing with her middle school volleyball team and enjoys playing tennis and rock climbing.
"Aflac is proud to honor John Smoltz and Dr. William G. Woods, who passionately share our values of supporting people in their time of need," said Kathelen Amos, President of the Aflac Foundation. "The footprints left by each of these heroes remind us of what we can accomplish when we reach out to help others. Aflac is proud to honor them with our inaugural Duckprints Award."
To help raise funds and awareness around America's unsung heroes, Aflac is asking people to become socially active in the cause. The company will donate $2 to the Aflac Cancer Center for any duckprints-related social actions taken on various social mediums up to $2 million from September, which is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, through December. Related social actions include:
- Twitter - - $2 for any tweet using the hashtag #duckprints or for retweets of duckprints related tweets
- Facebook - $2 for any share of specific posts related to duckprints or using #duckprints
- YouTube Views - $2 per every view of the duckprints videos on YouTube
- ShareThis - $2 for every duckprints related video shared
To support the Aflac Duckprints initiative, Aflac also created a new website called aflacduckprints.com that enables users to nominate unsung heroes in their community who have made a difference in the lives of children and families facing cancer. People will be able to follow the Aflac duck on his journey to hospitals around the country honoring those who have made a difference in the fight against childhood cancer. In addition, merchandise such as plush Aflac Ducks and Duckprints related t-shirts, slippers and other items will be available for purchase at aflacduckprints.com with all of the net proceeds going toward the treatment and research of childhood cancer.
About John Smoltz and his Commitment to the pediatric cancer patients
John Smoltz was an eight-time All-Star, winner of the 1996 Cy Young Award as the best pitcher in the National League and is one of only 16 pitchers in major league baseball history to strike out 3,000 or more batters over the course of his career, mostly with the Atlanta Braves.
In 1991, John met a young cancer patient Andrew Mcleroy. A friendship quickly ensued, and after Andrew's unfortunate passing, Mr. Smoltz honored Andrew by becoming the inaugural host of the Atlanta Braves Celebrity-Am Golf Tournament to benefit children's cancer. Since 1992, the annual tournament has generated nearly $1.5 million in proceeds to the Aflac Cancer Center. Since 1991, Smoltz has maintained a close relationship with the Aflac Cancer Center, often visiting children unannounced, participating in the company's Annual Braves Night for cancer patients at Turner Field, and often spending holidays by the side of patients at the cancer center.
About Dr. William G. Wood's contribution to the fight against pediatric cancer
Dr. William G. Woods is the Director of the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Since joining the Center in 2001, he has elevated the prestige of the program which has been recognized as one of the top cancer centers in the country. Under his leadership, the Aflac Cancer Center has become one of the largest and most respected pediatric hematology/oncology programs in the country, treating an average of 365 new cancer patients each year and more than 2,700 children with sickle cell disease and other blood disorders. The staff of the Aflac Cancer Center has performed more than 850 Bone Marrow Transplants, making it one of the largest pediatric programs in the country. Dr. Woods has been instrumental in training and mentoring numerous fellows and junior faculty who are now making their own contributions in the advancement of treating children with cancer and blood disorders. He has tripled the number of clinical and research faculty and increased National Institute of Health funding six-fold.
About Aflac's Commitment to Pediatric Cancer
Aflac has passionately supported the fight against childhood cancer for nearly 20 years donating more than $80 million dollars to help support the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia and through generous donations from more than 19,700 employees and sales agents that have helped provide a respite for thousands of children and their families battling cancer.
When a policyholder gets sick or hurt, Aflac pays cash benefits fast. For nearly six decades, Aflac insurance policies have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress. In the United States, Aflac is the number one provider of guaranteed-renewable insurance. In Japan, Aflac is the number one life insurance company in terms of individual policies in force. Aflac individual and group insurance products provide protection to more than 50 million people worldwide. For seven consecutive years, Aflac has been recognized by Ethisphere magazine as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies. In 2013, FORTUNE magazine recognized Aflac as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America for the 15th consecutive year. Also, in 2013, FORTUNE magazine included Aflac on its list of Most Admired Companies for the 12th time, ranking the company number one in the life and health insurance category. Aflac Incorporated is a Fortune 500 company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AFL. To find out more about Aflac, visit aflac.com or espanol.aflac.com.
Aflac herein means American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus and American Family Life Assurance Company of New York.
Download b-roll of Bailey and her family here.
Jon A. Sullivan
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