FedEx Express Cessna Aircraft Named in Honor of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® Patient
Plane Dedicated at 8th Annual Purple Eagle Ceremony
MEMPHIS, Tenn., July 25, 2019 — FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX), and the world’s largest express transportation company, joined St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® today in dedicating a FedEx Cessna Caravan airplane in honor of St. Jude patient Reid, the son of a FedEx team member. For the eighth consecutive year, the Purple Eagle ceremony took place near the driving range at TPC Southwind, home of the inaugural World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
Reid, the son of Barry Russell, a FedEx Express pilot, joined the ceremony to unveil his name on the aircraft. The cargo plane, which also features the iconic St. Jude logo, will be on display throughout the tournament. Reid’s name will travel throughout the Pacific coast of Canada as a permanent fixture on the FedEx Cessna Caravan at the conclusion of the FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
“The Purple Eagle program is a special way for FedEx to honor a St. Jude patient, who is the child or grandchild of a FedEx team member, and brings attention to the life-saving work being done by the hospital every day,” said Bill West, Jr., vice president of Supplemental Air Operations for FedEx Express. “Reid’s determination and positive outlook truly embody the spirit behind this recognition, and we’re honored to add his name to our Purple Eagle fleet.”
Reid was diagnosed with cancer in 2015 at the age of 7. His family turned to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where treatment included chemotherapy and proton therapy. He is currently in remission and visits St. Jude for regular check-ups.
“Reid was so excited when he learned FedEx was naming the Purple Eagle plane after him,” said Barry Russell. “We are so thankful for the care he has received at St. Jude. It’s truly a place where miracles happen.”
Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since it opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude won’t stop until no child dies from cancer.
“FedEx has been an extraordinary partner to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for decades and events like this give us another opportunity to partner together to honor true heroes like Reid and his family,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “Sharing stories like Reid’s is critical for creating awareness to support raising the funds needed to enable St. Jude to pursue groundbreaking research, share discoveries globally and continue working toward finding cures for some of the world’s sickest children.”
The tournament has raised more than $43 million for St. Jude since the world-renowned institution became the event’s sole beneficiary in 1970. Because of dedicated supporters like FedEx, families never receive a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food—because St. Jude believes that all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
For more information about Reid’s love for golf, visit St. Jude Inspire.