American is Komen for the Cure's Official Airline and First-Ever Lifetime Promise Partner, Committed to Raising Funds for Crucial Breast Cancer Research at M. D. Anderson
American Airlines, the world's largest airline, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the world's largest breast cancer organization, today announced an expanded partnership with the unveiling of two specially co-branded aircraft, an American Airlines 757 and an American Eagle Embraer 145, each incorporating the renowned vivid pink-ribbon motif.
The distinctive pink streamers, which extend the length of the fuselage of the two aircraft, signal a new level of mutual commitment, as American Airlines becomes Komen for the Cure's official airline and first-ever Lifetime Promise Partner. The partnership represents a newly created funding category for Komen -- called Promise Grants -- which are collaborative, inter-disciplinary research projects with the strong potential to discover and deliver the cures for breast cancer more quickly.
Building on its 20-year history of supporting Komen nationally, American Airlines has pledged to raise a minimum of $1 million annually for eight years, to fund Susan G. Komen for the Cure's first Promise Grant -- a $7.5 million, five-year study of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. The remainder will be used to fund health and community programs. The net proceeds from the annual American Airlines Celebrity Golf and Tennis Weekend are the primary source of funding. Additional contributions will be raised via American's Miles for the Cure® program, in which AAdvantage® members earn five miles for each dollar contributed to Komen with a $25 minimum donation. Since mid-April, more than 6,500 AAdvantage members have contributed over $600,000 to the campaign. Donations can be made online at http://www.aa.com/komen.
"This is a great day for American Airlines, American Eagle and Susan G. Komen for the Cure," said Dan Garton, American's Executive Vice President-Marketing. "But most of all, it's a great day for all of us who are deeply determined to end breast cancer forever. We sincerely thank the American Airlines employees at our Tulsa and Abilene maintenance bases who donated their time to carefully wrap these aircraft in the ribbons. Seeing these special aircraft take flight today is an inspiration to us all."
American and American Eagle will add similar ribbons to an additional six aircraft in the coming months.
"This partnership speaks volumes about the quality and longevity of American's commitment to Komen, and the way the company and its employees share our sense of urgency in discovering and delivering the cures, and finding ways to prevent breast cancer," said Hala Moddelmog, President and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. "We are also thrilled that American Airlines will be the first corporation to have a direct hand in writing a significant chapter in breast cancer research history with its Promise Grant."
The first American Airlines Susan G. Komen for the Cure Promise Grant is funding research at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston to aid in earlier detection of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), the most aggressive form of the disease. The program will be conducted through the center's Morgan Welch Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Program and Clinic, named in memory of a 24-year-old IBC victim and the only such facility in the world. The American Airlines Susan G. Komen for the Cure Promise Grant will be the largest gift ever for IBC research.
"While tremendous strides have been made in the overall treatment of breast cancer, until now, there's been very little research into this rare disease that behaves so differently than other breast cancers," said Gabriel N. Hortobagyi, M.D., F.A.C.P, professor and chair of M. D. Anderson's Breast Medical Oncology. "The global cancer community will stand to benefit from our comprehensive research program and what we learn about this disease. The only way to achieve better outcomes for women with the disease is to have dedicated resources, such as the funds allocated by Komen and American Airlines for continued IBC research."
The pink-ribbon planes made their inaugural flights to DFW this morning from Tulsa International Airport (TUL) and Abilene Regional Airport (ABI), where crowds of employees, volunteers, breast cancer survivors and local officials turned out at dawn for sendoff festivities. The flight attendants on both inaugural flights are breast cancer survivors, as well.
The two aircraft carrying the pink-ribbon motif are the first of eight that will display this highly visible tribute to American and American Eagle's expanded partnership with Komen -- notable in that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Referred to in the industry as livery, the vivid pink "ribbons" are actually a type of decal. Mindful of fuel efficiency, the decal on the 757 weighs less than 50 lbs. and adds only an estimated $700 in annual fuel cost; the Embraer's weighs only about 5 lbs., which has minimal fuel impact. Plans are to add the distinctive pink ribbons to one American Airlines 777 and five additional American Eagle Embraer aircraft.
About American Airlines
American Airlines is the world's largest airline. American, American Eagle and the AmericanConnection® airlines serve 250 cities in over 40 countries with more than 4,000 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers more than 1,000 aircraft. American's award-winning Web site, AA.com, provides users with easy access to check and book fares, plus personalized news, information and travel offers. American Airlines is a founding member of the oneworld® Alliance, which brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business, enabling them to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. Together, its members serve nearly 700 destinations in over 140 countries and territories. American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. AmericanAirlines, American Eagle, AmericanConnection, AA.com, We know why you fly and AAdvantage are registered trademarks of American Airlines, Inc.
About Susan G. Komen for the Cure
Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure® and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen for the Cure is the world's largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure, we have invested more than $1 billion to fulfill our promise, becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world. For more information about Susan G. Komen for the Cure, breast health or breast cancer, visit http://www.komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN.
About University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center (http://www.mdanderson.org) in Houston ranks as one of the world's most respected centers focused on cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. M. D. Anderson is one of only 41 Comprehensive Cancer Centers designated by the National Cancer Institute. For six of the past nine years, M. D. Anderson has ranked No. 1 in cancer care in "America's Best Hospitals," a survey published annually in U.S. News and World Report.
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