Carl and Crew to Wear Beads of Courage to Honor Kids with Serious Illnesses like Cancer
COLUMBUS, GA – (October 6) – This Sunday, October 10, NASCAR driver Carl Edwards and his crew will unveil a special new Aflac Duck Wingman Bead of Courage to show kids with serious illnesses like cancer that they are not alone in their fight against the disease. The new bead is part of the Aflac Duck’s 10th birthday celebration, as the Aflac Duck shares his birthday wish for people across the nation to help give kids facing cancer renewed strength and a reason to smile.
At a press conference scheduled for Friday, October 8, at Auto Club Speedway, Carl will be joined by the Aflac Duck and seven year-old Nolan Blake of Griffin, Ga., a cancer survivor and avid NASCAR fan and recipient of hundreds of courage beads. Nolan will be joined by his mother Brittany and Jean Baruch, Founder of Beads of Courage, a nonprofit, international organization that provides arts in medicine programs for children to help support and strengthen them as they cope with serious illness.
Building on a long-standing commitment to pediatric cancer research and treatment through Aflac’s association with the Aflac Cancer Center in Atlanta, the Aflac Duck is issuing a Duck Call to Action to encourage people to engage in the fight against pediatric cancer. Aflac has teamed with Arizona-based Beads of Courage, Inc., to create a new Aflac Duck Wingman bead that can be purchased and sent to a courageous child with cancer. Through Beads of Courage children chronicle their unique stories using beads that commemorate milestones and procedures during their treatment for cancer. Beads of Courage, Inc. is affiliated with more than 70 hospitals across the United States, including the Aflac Cancer Center.
The Aflac Duck is inviting NASCAR fans to go to aflacracing.com and click on the Beads of Courage logo to purchase an Aflac Duck Wingman bead for a child with cancer for only $5. For $25, donors can purchase beads for five children and receive one of their own. Purchasers can select the region of the country where they would like their bead to be sent with a portion of their donation going to Beads of Courage® to help provide and maintain the program in hospitals across the country.
“When I visit the Aflac Cancer Center I am moved by the courage of these heroic children,” Edwards said. “My personal experience with beads of courage inspired me; so I am proud to be a part of this program.”
Aflac Foundation President Kathelen Amos said, “In the same spirit that Aflac policies provide security for policyholders, keeping them under our wing; we envision the Aflac Duck bead symbolizing courage while being the wingman for children at the Aflac Cancer Center and facilities across the country.”
Race fans will also be treated to a special visit from the Aflac Duck on October 10th, the first time the Aflac Duck has attended a NASCAR race.
“That loveable Aflac Duck inspires smiles in children,” said Jean Baruch, RN, BSN, executive director and founder of Beads of Courage, Inc. “Our long-standing relationship with the Aflac Cancer Center, the immense strength of the Aflac Duck’s image, and Aflac’s commitment to pediatric cancer treatment and research gives me great confidence that this program will be a tremendous success in helping more kids cope with serious illnesses.”
Edwards and his pit crew will also wear a special Beads of Courage necklace like the ones worn by Nolan at the Aflac Cancer Center in Atlanta. The Aflac Ford Fusion will sport the Beads of Courage logo during the Sprint Cup race televised nationally on ESPN as part of the Aflac Duck’s 10th birthday wish for people across the nation to help give kids facing cancer renewed strength.
When a policyholder gets sick or hurt, Aflac pays cash benefits fast. For 55 years, Aflac products have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress. In the United States, Aflac is the number one provider of guaranteed-renewable insurance. In Japan, Aflac is the number one insurance company in terms of individual insurance policies in force. Aflac insurance products provide protection to more than 50 million people worldwide. Aflac has been recognized by Ethisphere magazine as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for four consecutive years and has been named by the Reputation Institute as the Most Reputable Company in the Global Insurance Industry for two consecutive years. In 2010, Fortune magazine recognized Aflac as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America for the twelfth consecutive year. In addition, Fortune magazine ranked Aflac No. 1 on its global list of the Most Admired Companies in the Life and Health Insurance category. Aflac was also named by Forbes magazine as America’s Best-Managed Company in the Insurance category. Aflac Incorporated is a Fortune 500 company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AFL. To find out more about Aflac, visit aflac.com.
About Beads of Courage
Beads of Courage is a nonprofit organization, based in Tucson, Ariz., focused on arts-in-medicine programs geared toward helping children cope with serious illnesses. Patients are given beads to represent significant treatment milestones during their journey. Beads of Courage programs have helped thousands of children and their families at over 60 hospitals. More information is available at beadsofcourage.org.
About the Aflac Cancer Center and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, a not-for-profit organization, is committed to enhancing the lives of children through excellence in patient care, research and education. Managing more than half a million patient visits annually at three hospitals and 16 neighborhood locations, Children’s is one of the largest clinical care providers for children in the country. Children’s offers access to more than 30 pediatric specialties and is ranked among the top children’s hospitals by Parents magazine and U.S. News & World Report. With generous philanthropic and volunteer support, Children’s has made an impact on the lives of children in Georgia, the United States and throughout the world. Visit choa.org for more information.
About Roush Fenway Racing
Roush Fenway Racing is NASCAR’s largest team operating nine motorsports teams. Four in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with drivers Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and David Ragan; and five in the Nationwide Series with Edwards, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Trevor Bayne, Colin Braun, Brian Ickler and Paul Menard. For more information on any of the Roush Fenway Racing teams, log onto www.RoushFenway.com. Become a fan of Roush Fenway Racing on Facebook by going to http://www.facebook.com/roushfenway and follow us on Twitter @roushfenway. For sponsorship inquiries please contact Robin Johnson at 704.720.4645.
About Nolan Blake
Nolan was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2008. A seven year old from Griffin, Ga., Nolan has four brothers and sisters. Nolan’s treatment has involved both high doses of chemo and radiation. Through all of this, Nolan works to see the positive in his treatment. He recently had his port removed and asked his surgeon if he could have it back so he could string it on his bead necklace.