Parents of a child who lost his fight with cancer at age seven created an endowment at the Palmetto Health Foundation in his memory. A former pediatric hematologist and oncologist devoted his career to helping kids suffering from various forms of the disease. A long-time donor and fundraiser helped support and encourage kids and their families with services like a fun weeklong summer camp. In the fight against childhood cancer, these efforts shine bright, and Aflac and the Palmetto Health Children's Hospital in Columbia, South Carolina are giving them the recognition they deserve.
Rob and Risha Teal, Dr. Kevin McRedmond and Harold Bessent are the three winners of the 2014 Duckprint Awards. In this video, you'll learn about how their efforts have inspired progress in this important and often emotional quest. It's a cause close to the hearts of many present at the award ceremony, including this year's host, MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin, who lost his three-year-old niece to a rare form of the disease.
"Partnering with Aflac for the Duckprints helps us acknowledge individuals who are making a difference, and their dedication to children who are suffering from cancer," says Samuel Tenenbaum, President of the Palmetto Health Foundation.
Pediatric cancer research makes up less than 5% of the National Cancer Institute's annual budget, making fundraising efforts crucial to the cause. Aflac has donated or raised nearly $90 million to pediatric cancer treatment and research since 1995, thanks in part to the dedication of its independent sales force and employees. And anyone can help the effort by tweeting, or posting in Facebook using the hashtag #duckprints. Each time that's done, Aflac will donate another $2 until they reach $2 million. Aflac’s overall goal is to hit the $100 million mark by the end of 2015.
"Aflac gets it," says Duckprints award recipient Dr. Kevin McRedmond, a retired pediatric hematologist and oncologist. "We don't have to have bereaved families anymore. I am truly grateful to Aflac, not just for this reward, but for their efforts. You are part of my heart. Anybody who loves children as much as I love children is my friend."
To support Aflac Duckprints or nominate a hero who has made a difference in the lives of children and families facing cancer, visit aflacduckprints.com.