Atlanta Braves great John Smoltz and Dr. William Woods, director of the Aflac Cancer Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, are recipients of the inaugural Aflac Duckprints Award.
“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,” Kathelen Amos, president of the Aflac Foundation, said Wednesday. “The footprints left by each of these heroes remind us of what we can accomplish when we reach out to help others.”
Broadcaster Ernie Johnson Jr., himself a cancer survivor, will help kick off the ceremony Wednesday in Atlanta.
A poignant attendee will be Bailey Moody, an 11-year-old girl who was diagnosed last year with a rare cancer called osteosarcoma. In a procedure called “rotationplasty,” her leg was detached and then reattached backward enabling her ankle joint to function as her knee joint. A prosthetic is attached to her foot to help her with walking and running, with Bailey now playing volleyball, tennis and doing rock climbing.
As in the past, Aflac is using the awards to help raise money to fight cancer. The Columbus-based firm will donate money to the Aflac Cancer Center through December for several social media activities. They include:
$2 for any tweet using the hashtag #duckprints or for retweets of duckprints related tweets
$2 for any share of specific posts related to duckprints or using #duckprints
$2 per every view of the duckprints videos on YouTube
$2 for every duckprints related video shared
A website, www.aflacduckprints.com, also has been set up for the cause.
Under Woods’ direction, Aflac Cancer Center treats roughly 365 new cancer patients each year, and more than 2,700 children with various blood disorders, including sickle cell disease. He has dramatically increased the research resources at the center as well.
Smoltz, an eight-time pitching all-star, has been a supporter of cancer treatment efforts since 1991, starting as the inaugural host of the Atlanta Braves Celebrity-Am Golf Tournament that year. The event has raised $1.5 million for the cancer center since then.
Aflac and its employees have raised more than $80 million for the cause over the last two decades.
September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.