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Father reflects on FedEx plane named for his son, 8-yr-old St Jude patient and cancer survivor

Hayes with Chris - Treatment2.jpg

FedEx Express is naming a Cessna Caravan plane in honor of a St. Jude Children's Research Hospital patient, the son of a FedEx team member. The dedication event takes place in conjunction with the 2013 FedEx St. Jude Classic golf tournament at TPC Southwind in Memphis, TN.

The boy's father, Chris Brown share his thoughts:

In 13 years with FedEx, I have watched colleagues give selflessly to customers, to other colleagues, and to complete strangers. From the all-hands-on-deck support after a natural disaster to a small, private gesture of support for a colleague in need, our people always come through. Starting in January of 2010, I was on the receiving end of this giving.

That is the month that my then five-year old son, Hayes, was diagnosed with cancer.

Through nearly three years of chemotherapy, surgeries, recurrence, more chemotherapy, and more surgeries, my work family never left my side. Food, words of encouragement, hospital visits, toys and prayers were gentle reminders that they were always there for me.

Having a FedEx plane named after your child is an enormous honor for any FedEx employee. Having a FedEx plane branded with the St. Jude logo and named after your happy, healthy eight-year old is almost beyond words. In many ways, this plane is a symbol of the support and care that FedEx colleagues provide each other in the most difficult of times.

If Hayes had been born 50 years ago, this story would probably have a much different ending. When you look at what childhood cancer survival rates were when Danny Thomas laid out his vision for St. Jude and then think about Mr. Smith’s vision for FedEx over 40 years ago, it’s easy to see that Hayes is living proof of dreams supporting dreams. To me this plane is the embodiment of those visions coming together and I am honored that it is my son is a part of it.

My hope is that this plane also serves as a reminder that the work is not done. St. Jude was able to treat my son because someone gave long before Hayes was a patient.

Tomorrow, another parent will enter the front doors of St. Jude and donations from someone who doesn’t even know his child will help save her.

Hayes Express

Hayes Express family

Hayes Brown and the FedEx plane named after him

Comments (50) 

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Such a heart touching story! Blessings to you and your family Hayes. Please continue to send contributions to St Judes and all Children's hospitals. I have a grandson with Left Heart Hypoplasty, meaning he only has the right side of his heart. He will need a heart transplant as a half of heart cannot support a full grown body. He is 11 now. Please, please help support these hospitals/foundations if you are able. Happy Holidays!!

What a beautiful family you have. Dont ever give up the fight,love is in your corner and you already won. May the gate of Heavens blessings be poured on your family.

may god bless you an your family an what a great honor for your son hayes....such a happy ending thank ypu st judes an for everyone who donates so these children have a fighting chance....thank you fedex for being there when 1 of the fedex family needs your support...god bless

Another great St Jude/FedEx story. Chris Family you are blessed to have such a great family in your corner. Continued health and God Bless. I have a family member that is cancer survivor because St Jude worked its miracles. And they do it everyday. Way to hang in there Hayes, God Bless You.

Aloha Chris, Thank you for sharing such a great story,way out here in hawaii, we feel the stress your family had to endur during the early times of Hayes illness.This is one of the reasons we at fedex have come to understand that we are one family no matter where we come from we still support each other during times like this. Thanks to the awesome dreams of out founder that we all live with that same feelings.Aloha

Chris, I admire your son's courage and strength to fight his illness at such a young age. Thanks for sharing a happy ending and I could share this with another FedEx colleague who is going through the same situation as you. Congrats and wish Hayes a good health and best wishes to Chris & family!

What a heart touching story with a happy ending all the way around, congrats!! God Bless

Wow! What a wonderful story!! Thanks for sharing, Chris. Haye's story makes it all worthwhile to continue supporting St. Jude Children's hospital!

I'm very happy for you and your family. What wonderful news. Many blessings for you all.

Thanks for sharing such a great story with a happy ending. God Bless you & your family! Carol YQG

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