Corporate Angel Network Provides a Lifeline

Corporate_Angel_Network

In 2014, more than 1,000 cancer patients and their caregivers traveled at no charge on Dow aircraft as part of the Corporate Angel Network. This year, that number is soaring even higher.

“It’s humbling, that our organization can help these cancer patients out in their time of need,” said Ashten Tullier Dickey, who works for Dow as the lead flight attendant on corporate shuttle aircraft and also manages the Dow offices that schedule Corporate Angel Network flights. “I’m grateful to work for a company that participates in such a wonderful program that touches these individuals in a multitude of ways.”

Corporate Angel Network (CAN) is a nonprofit organization, based in Westchester County, New York, that arranges free travel for cancer patients on corporate aircraft that have unfilled seats. Patients communicate their travel needs to the organization, companies report vacancies on their aircraft, and CAN finds matches.

Patients call it a godsend, and not just because of the cost savings.

“This is not for the faint of heart, this whole cancer process,” said Harriet King, who lives in Midland, Michigan, and flies about once a month to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for cancer treatment. “When you fly on the Angel Network, they are so accommodating. It’s very timely, very efficient. It’s in a separate hangar, so you don’t have to go through the hustle and bustle of the airlines. Sometimes, when you’ve had a lot of chemo and other medications, your immune system is lessened. With Corporate Angel Network, you don’t have to go through the mass of humanity at the airport.”

As with many patients, CAN makes it practical for King to take part in clinical research being done far from home, in her case at the University of Pennsylvania.

“They are studying certain medications, which I am taking on a trial basis,” King said. “Hopefully it will help me, but hopefully it will help others as well.”

From 1983 to 2012, Dow transported more than 6,000 CAN patients, prompting the organization to bestow its “Angel of the Year” award on the Company.

“They are perfect corporate angels,” said Bonnie LeVar, communications director for CAN. “Many patients would be in a lot of trouble without them. Dow’s up there in the ‘We can’t thank them enough’ category.”