American Airlines Stands up with Team Members in the Fight Against Cancer
June 1, 2017 – FORT WORTH, Texas– American Airlines and nearly 60 of their cancer fighting, surviving and co-surviving team members came together to film a campaign as part of its collaboration with Stand Up To Cancer and (SU2C) Ambassador Bradley Cooper.
Last year, American Airlines launched a multi-year, multi-million-dollar collaboration with Stand Up To Cancer because of their groundbreaking approach to cancer research and commitment to fighting this terrible disease by getting new therapies to patients quickly.
“Standing up is a powerful thing,” said Bradley Cooper, Stand Up To Cancer Ambassador. “But it’s never meant more than it does now. It was an honor to meet the employees of American and hear their personal stories – it’s stories like theirs that continue to motivate me to Stand Up To Cancer.”
Each participating team member in this new campaign has been personally affected by cancer, and several are still undergoing treatment or caring for a loved one fighting the disease.
“It was an honor and privilege to participate in the Stand Up To Cancer campaign and my wife, Dana an LAX-based flight attendant, and I were inspired by being around so many fellow survivors. It has a great theme, something that has been ingrained in me since childhood; when you get knocked down, you stand up, dust yourself off and try again,” commented John Biegel, an LAX-based Captain who is currently undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer. “Fighting cancer embodies that same theme and it has served me well not only in this present fight but throughout life: never give up.”
Team members from 24 locations around the system, representing pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, gate and reservation agents, fleet service clerks and more, who either personally experienced (or have a loved one who did), participated. In all, they dealt with 18 different types of cancer including; breast, melanoma, lymphoma, pancreatic cancer and more. The campaign was shot in the airline’s hangar at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
“Going through this horrible diagnosis I often feel very alone, but meeting everyone helped me regain confidence that there is a life after cancer,” said Erica Lacasse, a 28-year-old Gate Agent based in Portland, Maine who is currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer. “Participating in the campaign also helped me accept the fact that I am bald, and I am now rocking the bald head with confidence.”
Six of American’s team members, including John and Erica, as well as PHL-based flight attendant Katherine Samiljan, DFW-Res agent Dondie Risinger, LAX-based technical crew chief aircraft maintenance David Mansker, and PHX-based lead fleet service Steven Goff, will be prominently featured in the spot and related materials starting today.
The campaign will support Stand Up To Cancer’s collaborative cancer research. During the month of June, American will donate $1 to Stand Up To Cancer for every flight purchased on aa.com, up to $1,000,000. Visit aa.com/standup to learn more about American and Stand Up To Cancer’s unique collaboration.
About American Airlines Group
American Airlines and American Eagle offer an average of nearly 6,700 flights per day to nearly 350 destinations in more than 50 countries. American has hubs in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C. American is a founding member of the oneworld® alliance, whose members serve more than 1,000 destinations with about 14,250 daily flights to over 150 countries. Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol AAL. In 2015, its stock joined the S&P 500 index. Connect with American on Twitter @AmericanAir and at Facebook.com/AmericanAirlines.
About the Stand Up To Cancer Initiative
Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) raises funds to accelerate the pace of research to get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now. SU2C, a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was established in 2008 by film and media leaders who utilize the industry’s resources to engage the public in supporting a new, collaborative model of cancer research, and to increase awareness about cancer prevention as well as progress being made in the fight against the disease. As SU2C’s scientific partner, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and a Scientific Advisory Committee led by Nobel Laureate Phillip A. Sharp, PhD, conduct rigorous, competitive review processes to identify the best research proposals to recommend for funding, oversee grants administration, and provide expert review of research progress.
Current members of the SU2C Council of Founders and Advisors (CFA) include Katie Couric, Sherry Lansing, Lisa Paulsen, Rusty Robertson, Sue Schwartz, Pamela Oas Williams, Ellen Ziffren, and Kathleen Lobb. The late Laura Ziskin and the late Noreen Fraser are also co-founders. Sung Poblete, PhD, RN, has served as SU2C’s president since 2011.
For more information on Stand Up To Cancer, visit www.standup2cancer.org.