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St. Jude Patient Soars with FedEx Purple Eagle Program

June 9, 2016

Purple EagleIt’s typically no big deal to see your name in print…unless it’s on a plane.

13-year-old Alyssa de Jong grinned ear to ear when she saw the FedEx St. Jude Classic golf flag removed from the FedEx Cessna Caravan, revealing her name below the iconic St. Jude logo.

FedEx Express joined St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in dedicating a FedEx airplane in honor of Alyssa at the fifth annual Purple Eagle ceremony. Her name will travel throughout the Midwest as a permanent fixture on the plane at the conclusion of the 59th annual FedEx St. Jude Classic.

The Purple Eagle program celebrates a St. Jude patient who is the son or daughter of a FedEx team member and sheds light on the important work being done by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Alyssa, 13, is the daughter of FedEx team member Remco de Jong. She was diagnosed with melanoma at the age of six. Her family turned to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where treatment included surgeries to remove the cancer, as well as some of her lymph nodes. Alyssa has finished treatment and now visits St. Jude for regular check-ups.

Alyssa is not the only one in her family to see her name emblazoned on a FedEx aircraft. One year ago, her cousin Tyler was center stage at the Purple Eagle dedication. He was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2014 and recently finished treatment, also at St. Jude. After watching Alyssa and Tyler go through treatment, the family was hit hard a third time. Her father, Remco, was diagnosed with throat cancer in February.

“We’re so grateful for all the support we’ve received from our FedEx family during Alyssa’s treatment, Tyler’s treatment, and now mine. I am proud to work for a company that knows the importance of raising awareness for the groundbreaking research being done at St. Jude.” said Remco de Jong. “It’s hard to put into words what St. Jude means to our family. Both our daughter and our nephew are healthy today thanks to the lifesaving care from the best medical professionals in the world.”

Watch the video to find out more about Alyssa and the Purple Eagle program.


    Remco de Jong says:

    FedEx has create lifetime memories for my girl Alyssa and the rest of the family.

    Tim great job on the story.

    Shuichi SATO says:

    This story makes me better.
    I look up and I feel that I see the big grin of Alyssa in the blue sky.

    marilyn d vital says:

    alyssa u will be in my prayers…many blessings to you… marilyn

    Andy Pineda says:

    Alyssa, I´m from Honduras, I´ve read this story from Tim, I am glad that you were able to recover from the melanoma, you are a strong girl and I admire you, Alyssa, your cousin Tyler and your father Mr. De Jong will now be in my prayers, blessings.

    Mary Higginbotham says:

    Alyssa, Tyler and Remco are all in my heartfelt and continual prayers for complete healing! So thankful our great company is showing this family they are each important to our FedEx family! Great story too! Sending sunny smiles to all! Merry Mary/IND

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