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FedEx plane dedication for St. Jude patient kicks off World Golf Championship

FedEx plane dedication for St. Jude patient kicks off World Golf Championship
FedEx plane dedication for St. Jude patient kicks off World Golf Championship((Source: WMC))
Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 6:10 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Golf is, of course, the main draw for the World Golf Championship, but a tremendous partnership between FedEx and St. Jude has helped make this tournament so special.

Thursday morning, an annual tradition kicked off the international event with FedEx honoring a St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital patient named Kenzie with a FedEx feeder plane named just for her.

“How many people have airplanes named after them? So, it’s kind of like, it’s impossible,” Rick Shadyac, CEO of ALSAC said. “I’d love to have an airplane named after me, but that’s never going to happen. So, now it’s possible. That’s what St. Jude is all about, taking what’s possible and creating possibilities.”

This is the ninth FedEx plane named after a St. Jude patient.

FedEx representatives say these planes, just like the tournament itself, spread the word about St. Jude across the country.

“You’d be surprised where the airplane lands in New Mexico and somebody asks them about what the St. Jude child logo is and the name, and it gets them talking and next thing you know, maybe a donor and donate to St. Jude,” said Bill West, FedEx vice president of the Supplemental Air Office.

Kenzie was selected last year for the Purple Eagle Ceremony but had to wait until this year because of COVID-19. Kenzie, who is 17 years old, went through two and a half years of chemotherapy to defeat acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Now, she’s a high school senior with a 3.9 GPA and dreams of becoming a nurse at St. Jude.

“And man am I excited to see what she accomplishes,” Shadyac said. “She is an incredible young lady. The sky is the limit. The fact that she wants to be a nurse and give back to the mission that helped save her life, man that’s what it’s all about.”

“It’s a testament to the life-saving work that St. Jude does,” West said. “All nine of them are healthy and next year will be our 10th anniversary. And we’re hopeful we can bring all 10 of them back and celebrate.”

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