Dana’s Story: A loving tribute


It’s been 18 months since Capt. John Biegel lost his battle to pancreatic cancer. Today his wife, Dana, a Los Angeles-based flight attendant, stands before an American Airlines Airbus A321 to see his name added along with other names who are being honored by loved ones.

“Standing here and seeing his name triggers so many memories for me,” she said. “I am truly touched and honored to be a part of this.” As Dana takes in the full image of the more than 22,627 names on the American Airlines Stand Up To Cancer plane, she knows each and every person who made a donation to make this all a reality will be equally touched. “What a fantastic way to honor our loved ones,” she whispered.

She knows John would be equally amazed and happy knowing he is a part of this unique tribute. “I can see a big smile on this face,” she said. “And knowing the campaign raised so much money for cancer research makes this extra special.”

Today, Dana continues to raise funds and generate awareness about pancreatic cancer. She participates in PurpleStride, hosted by the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCan), an organization that John supported whole-heartedly. For Dana, the walk helps her heal and keeps her active. She wants to do her part to help others who are going through the battle now. She sees her contribution as a walk captain as a way to keep John’s spirit alive. “He had a big personality and the warmest heart,” she said. “I want him to know that although it’s been a tough road, I am picking up where he left off: continuing the fight, helping others and making friends along the way.”

Dana will be one of 50 team members and customers participating on a special flight from Los Angeles to Orlando for a special Stand Up To Cancer celebration. “It’s unfortunate that we are all connected by cancer, but being able to stand together and make a difference is truly a blessing,” she said. Dana looks forward to being on board the Stand Up To Cancer plane when it re-enters the fleet.

To learn more about American’s official Stand Up To Cancer Airbus A321 and its inaugural flight, read the press release.