SU2C aircraft visits four American hubs to commemorate year anniversary

12/15/2020

Last year, the official American Airlines Stand Up To Cancer Airbus A321 took flight, featuring the names of 22,627 cancer survivors, patients and those lost to cancer. The names were submitted by those who donated $25 or more to have their loved one’s name added to the plane, including many American team members, resulting in more than $1.1 million raised for cancer research.

The aircraft, which remains a part of American’s fleet today, visited four American hubs last week for special team member events commemorating the one-year anniversary of its first flight.

For Gordon Vanscoy, Airport Controller Services Supervisor at Miami International Airport (MIA), being able to see the aircraft up close was a memorable experience. “Having my mother’s name on that airplane is a reminder that our job is to care for families — both those that we fly and our own families at home,” Gordon said. “That airplane, with those thousands of names on it, honors the millions of families around the world that have suffered due to cancer.”

“Having my mother’s name on that airplane is a reminder that our job is to care for families.” — Gordon Vanscoy
MIA Airport Controller Services Supervisor

Each event included opportunities for team members to locate a loved one’s name and take photographs on the tarmac. For Stella Ballard, Customer Service Agent at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), the opportunity to take a photo with the plane was a special moment.

Stella joined American in 2015 but shortly after went on medical leave for two years due to kidney cancer. Prior to going on leave, she established a strong relationship with Joe Taney, Senior Vice President of DFW Operations, who donated to the campaign in 2019 and added her name to the aircraft.

“It’s very humbling, I feel very honored,” Stella said. “It means the world to me to be out here with Joe and take a photo together under the plane. I told him, and I almost cried, it’s all come full circle. This has been the greatest family environment for me working here. You think DFW is a huge, busy airport but it’s never seemed like that to me. My colleagues just rally behind whatever is happening.”

The aircraft will continue in service for American, serving as a constant reminder of the critical need to support cancer research.

Learn more about American’s partnership with Stand Up To Cancer and other organizations combating diseases that affect so many at aa.com/letgoodtakeflight.

Gordon Vanscoy with the official SU2C plane at MIA.

Stella Ballard with Joe Taney and DFW pilots at the DFW SU2C anniversary event.