There really are angels among us. They are caring. They fly, but they do not fit the preconceived notion of an angel. These angels are the more than 500 major corporations that comprise the Corporate Angel Network (CAN). CAN is a network of Fortune 500 companies—many in the top 100 — that give empty seats on their corporate jets to patients with cancer, bone marrow donors, and bone marrow recipients who need a ride to a distant treatment destination. Best of all: patients fly free.


The Corporate Angel Network recently flew its 50 000th cancer patient flight, taking a rambunctious 18-month-old boy, Baron Yerby, and his parents back to their home in Atlanta after his treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), in New York, New York. For the milestone flight, the family flew on an aircraft owned by NCR, a corporation based in Atlanta.

At age 3 months, Baron’s parents noticed an odd glow in his right eye. They soon learned he had retinoblastoma. Baron did well after treatment in Atlanta; however, he experienced a relapse and new tumors appeared in his left eye. At that point, all treatment options had been exhausted except one: a procedure in which a high dose of chemotherapy would be delivered directly into the ophthalmic artery. But MSKCC is one of only a few facilities in the world that perfected using intra-arterial chemosurgery to treat this rare malignancy. It is a procedure that the little boy must undergo monthly at the cancer center. He is only able to do so because of the Corporate Angel Network.

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