Aflac Honors Leaders in Fight Against Childhood Cancer

First Aflac Duckprints Award Goes to Baseball Star John Smoltz and Dr. William G. Woods

COLUMBUS, Ga., September 4, 2013 – Aflac, the number one provider of supplemental insurance in the United States, announced today that the company is honoring two heroes in the fight against childhood cancer with their first ever Aflac Duckprints Award.   The first awards will be presented to former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz and Aflac Cancer Center of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Director Dr. William G. Woods. On hand to kick off the ceremony will be Atlanta sportscaster and cancer survivor Ernie Johnson, Jr.

Bailey Moody, a brave 11 year-old girl diagnosed in 2012 with an aggressive form of cancer called osteosarcoma, will represent children and families facing cancer.  She underwent a remarkable procedure called Rotationplasty, where her leg was detached and then reattached backwards enabling her ankle joint to function as her knee joint. A prosthetic is attached to her foot to facilitate walking and running. Bailey is currently practicing with her middle school volleyball team and enjoys playing tennis and rock climbing.

“Aflac is proud to honor John Smoltz and Dr. William G. Woods, who passionately share our values of supporting people in their time of need,” said Kathelen Amos, President of the Aflac Foundation. “The footprints left by each of these heroes remind us of what we can accomplish when we reach out to help others. Aflac is proud to honor them with our inaugural Duckprints Award.”

To help raise funds and awareness around America’s unsung heroes, Aflac is asking people to become socially active in the cause.  The company will donate $2 to the Aflac Cancer Center for any duckprints-related social actions taken on various social mediums up to $2 million from September, which is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, 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
  • ShareThis - $2 for every duckprints related video shared

To support the Aflac Duckprints initiative, Aflac also created a new website called 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 will be able to 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 with all of the net proceeds going toward the treatment and research of childhood cancer. 

About John Smoltz and his Commitment to the pediatric cancer patients

John Smoltz was an eight-time All-Star, winner of the 1996 Cy Young Award as the best pitcher in the National League and is one of only 16 pitchers in major league baseball history to strike out 3,000 or more batters over the course of his career, mostly with the Atlanta Braves.

In 1991, John was met a young cancer patient Andrew Mcleroy. A friendship quickly ensued, and after Andrew’s unfortunate passing, Mr. Smoltz honored Andrew by becoming the inaugural host of the Atlanta Braves Celebrity-Am Golf Tournament to benefit children’s cancer. Since 1992, the annual tournament has generated nearly $1.5 million in proceeds to the Aflac Cancer Center. Since 1991, Smoltz has maintained a close relationship with the Aflac Cancer Center, often visiting children unannounced, participating in the company’s Annual Braves Night for cancer patients at Turner Field, and often spending holidays by the side of patients at the cancer center.

About Dr. William G. Wood’s contribution to the fight against pediatric cancer

Dr. William G. Woods is the Director of the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Since joining the Center in 2001, he has elevated the prestige of the program which has been recognized as one of the top cancer centers in the country. Under his leadership, the Aflac Cancer Center has become one of the largest and most respected pediatric hematology/oncology programs in the country, treating an average of 365 new cancer patients each year and more than 2,700 children with sickle cell disease and other blood disorders. The staff of the Aflac Cancer Center has performed more than 850 Bone Marrow Transplants, making it one of the largest pediatric programs in the country.  Dr. Woods has been instrumental in training and mentoring numerous fellows and junior faculty who are now making their own contributions in the advancement of treating children with cancer and blood disorders. He has tripled the number of clinical and research faculty and increased National Institute of Health funding six-fold.

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About Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has been 100 percent dedicated to kids for more than 100 years. A not-for-profit organization, Children’s is dedicated to making kids better today and healthier tomorrow. Our specialized care helps children get better faster and live healthier lives. Managing more than 870,000 patient visits annually at three hospitals and 27 neighborhood locations, Children’s is the largest healthcare provider for children in Georgia and one of the largest pediatric clinical care providers in the country. Children’s offers access to more than 60 pediatric specialties and programs and is ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report. With generous philanthropic and volunteer support since 1915, Children’s has impacted the lives of children in Georgia, the United States and throughout the world. Visit for more information.

Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s
The Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is a national leader among childhood cancer, hematology, and blood and marrow transplant programs, serving children and young adults. Recognized as one of the top 10 childhood cancer centers in the country by U.S. News & World Report, the Aflac Cancer Center cares for more than 400 newly diagnosed cancer patients each year and follows more than 2,500 patients with sickle cell disease, hemophilia and other blood disorders. The Center has a well-developed clinical research office and a robust Phase I/II clinical trials infrastructure. Visit or call 404-785-1112 or 888-785-1112 for more information.

Tags: General News, Foundation, Cancer
Published: Wednesday, September 04, 2013