LONG ISLAND, N.Y., Dec. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Aflac, the number one provider of supplemental insurance in the United States, will present its 2013 Duckprints Awards to local heroes for their role in fighting against childhood cancer. Aflac's Duckprints program is the company's way of championing individuals who stand out in the ongoing battle against children's cancer, which remains the number one cause of death by illness for people under the age of 15. The company hopes to raise attention for childhood cancer and increase donations to the cause. Aflac has given more than $85 million to children's cancer causes since 1995.
Hosting today's event is Hollywood star and native New Yorker Peter Facinelli, aka Dr. Carlisle Cullen in the popular Twilight Saga and Dr. Finch Cooper on the hit series Nurse Jackie on Showtime. Mr. Facinelli will help bestow the Duckprints Awards to Jonathan D. Fish, MD, the founder of a clinical long-term follow-up program for children's cancer survivors at Cohen Children's Medical Center, part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, and Abigail Slaven, RN, a pediatric oncology nurse, also at the Cohen Children's Medical Center. Also being honored is Morgan Zuch and her family. Morgan was diagnosed in 2000 with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at the age of two and upon receiving a clean bill of health, she and her family embarked on the creation of a non-profit education center for preschool aged children with cancer called The Morgan Center in Hicksville, NY.
"As an actor I have had the chance to play heroes on screen, but families facing the real-life threat of cancer are the true heroes," Mr. Facinelli said. "As a father of three healthy children, I am proud to honor Morgan, Dr. Fish and Abigail for their dedication and commitment to the families they serve and the lives they save."
"Aflac is proud to honor the Zuch family, Dr. Fish and Nurse Slaven with a 2013 Duckprints Award for their dedicated service to children facing cancer," said Kathelen Amos, President of the Aflac Foundation. "By leaving their large footprints on this worthy cause they have demonstrated the values that our company, our employees and our independent sales agents hold dear -- that being there for others in their time of need is a very admirable mission."
To help raise funds and awareness around America's unsung heroes, Aflac is asking people to become socially active in the cause. The company is donating $2 to the Aflac Cancer Center for any duckprints-related social actions taken on various social mediums up to $2 million through December. Related social actions include:
- Twitter - $2 for any tweet using the hashtag #duckprints or for retweets of duckprints related tweets
- Facebook - $2 for any share of specific posts related to duckprints or using #duckprints
- YouTube Views - $2 per every view of the duckprints videos on YouTube
- Share This - $2 for every duckprints related video shared
To support the Aflac Duckprints initiative, Aflac also created a new website called aflacduckprints.com that enables users to nominate unsung heroes in their community who have made a difference in the lives of children and families facing cancer. People can follow the Aflac duck on his journey to hospitals around the country honoring those who have made a difference in the fight against childhood cancer. In addition, merchandise such as plush Aflac Ducks and Duckprints related t-shirts, slippers and other items will be available for purchase at aflacduckprints.com with all of the net proceeds going toward the treatment and research of childhood cancer.
About Morgan Zuch and The Morgan Center
Morgan was diagnosed in 2000 with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at the age of two. Due to chemotherapy treatment, Morgan had a suppressed immune system, and therefore could not interact with other children. Realizing the need for children like Morgan with suppressed immune systems to nurture cognitive and social growth, her family opened The Morgan Center in Hicksville, NY; the first preschool program for children with cancer in the country. It is tuition free to families and is supported by private donations and fundraising. In its eleventh year, The Morgan Center has helped over 200 children battling cancer and their families. Morgan's family also started the National Early Childhood Cancer Foundation whose goal is to open other Morgan Centers around the country.
About Dr. Jonathan D. Fish's contributions to the fight against pediatric cancer
Dr. Jonathan D. Fish founded the Survivors Facing Forward Program (SURFF), a clinical long-term follow-up program for survivors of childhood cancer. The SURFF program now follows nearly 400 patients, and has been growing by about 100 new patients per year. The SURFF program provides risk-based personalized screening and health maintenance plans to survivors based on the chemotherapy, radiation and surgery they underwent as part of their cancer treatment. As over 70% of survivors of childhood cancer have a chronic illness related to their cancer treatment, long-term follow-up and survivorship care is critically important to health maintenance in this important population. In addition clinical care, the SURFF program has a commitment to research into better understanding of the needs of survivors.
About Abigail Slaven, RN's contributions to the fight against pediatric cancer
Abigail Slaven has been a pediatric oncology nurse for 15 years. She has been the Assistant Nurse Manager of the inpatient Hematology/Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant Unit for the past 6 years where she has made an impact on pediatric cancer. A stern advocate for patients and their families facing the diagnosis of cancer, Slaven collaborates with the healthcare team to ensure that the child receives the best care while also getting the family prepared to leave the hospital and continue their journey at home. Slaven also mentors new pediatric oncology nurses. Ms. Slaven also represents CCMC at the Children's Hospital Association where she collaborates with other Children's Hospitals nationwide on best practices for our pediatric oncology patients.
About Cohen Children's Medical Center
Cohen Children's Medical Center, part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, opened in 1983. Designed for children only, this 164-bed hospital is a regional, tertiary care facility that includes Long Island's only pediatric trauma unit. The hospital is recognized by US News & World Report magazine as one of the nation's top children's hospitals. More information about Cohen Children's Medical Center and its commitment to keeping its community safe and healthy can be found at www.northshorelij.com/ccmcny.
When a policyholder gets sick or hurt, Aflac pays cash benefits fast. For nearly six decades, Aflac insurance policies 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 life insurance company in terms of individual policies in force. Aflac individual and group insurance products provide protection to more than 50 million people worldwide. For seven consecutive years, Aflac has been recognized by Ethisphere magazine as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies. In 2013, FORTUNE magazine recognized Aflac as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America for the 15th consecutive year. Also, in 2013, FORTUNE magazine included Aflac on its list of Most Admired Companies for the 12th time, ranking the company number one in the life and health insurance category. Aflac Incorporated is a Fortune 500 company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AFL (NYSE: AFL). To find out more about Aflac, visit aflac.com or espanol.aflac.com.
Aflac herein means American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus and American Family Life Assurance Company of New York.