June 11, 2019

Corporate Angel Network (CAN) recently transported its 60,000th cancer patient to treatment. CAN, founded in 1981, uses empty seats on business aircraft to transport cancer patients, as well as bone marrow and stem cell donors and recipients, to specialized treatment centers throughout the country.

“That’s an impressive number of seats filled with hope,” CAN’s Senior Program Manager Samantha Lohse said when considering the 60,000th patient transported in the organization’s 38-year history.

CAN organizes about 3,000 flights a year with five full-time employees, and a host of volunteers.

“For many patients, it is unsafe to fly on a commercial airline because treatment makes them immunocompromised, so they either face a long drive to the hospital or worse, not going to treatment at all,” said Lohse. “We wouldn’t be able to help these patients without the generous corporations who open up their flights to us.”

CAN pairs empty seats on business aircraft with patients who need care away from home. Typically, the flight is already scheduled to occur for business purposes, or to reposition, so there is no additional cost for the company to donate empty seats. More than 500 companies provide flight lift for CAN missions.

The 60,000th patient is a Columbus, OH man who faced a 17-hour drive to the Houston, TX-based MD Anderson Cancer Center. Columbus-based American Electric Power had a flight planned to the Houston area, saving the patient and his wife an arduous road trip.

“Long drives are difficult on healthy people much less patients undergoing treatment,” said Kayla Wilson, CAN’s senior delivery manager. “CAN is able to reduce the stress of travel and help patients receive the best care for their diagnosis.”

Learn more about Corporate Angel Network.

Learn more about Corporate Angel Network.