Unsung Heroes

Michelle Hankes –Unsung Hero social contest winner

michelle Hanks

In June 2014, my world was turned upside down. Following my annual mammogram, I was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer. While an early diagnosis made my prognosis for survival excellent, my family of four (we have two sons who were ages 14 and 10 at the time) was devastated. Read more...

Elaine Moel – Unsung Hero social contest winner

Elaine Moel

In March 2000, my mother Vida was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer.  She had a mastectomy. The surgery was very extensive; they took out 23 of her lymph nodes. The story continues...

Lisa Dale –SkyMiles Auction winner

Lisa Dale

I am not sure when I first learned the staggering statistic that 1in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime (and 1 in 7 in Orange County California, where I live). No one in my close circle had been down this path - yet. Learn what happened...

Debra Kurkomelis – Delta survivor Unsung Hero

Debra Kurkomelis

My mother is my unsung hero. Way back in 1993 I had just transferred from HNL to PBI . My parents were living in Sarasota. Turns out my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and had the removal of one breast, the chemo, the pills, the sickness, etc. Read on...

Melinda Miller – Delta survivor Unsung Hero

Melinda Miller

I would love to talk about my unsung hero.  He has been such a huge help in my journey.  Jeremy and I actually met at work.  We both work for Delta.  We had only been together for a little over a year when I got the diagnosis. The happy ending...

Karmen Niklaus – Delta survivor Unsung Hero

Karmen Niklaus

My husband, Barry Niklaus, has been my other half during the whole journey. He refers to my diagnosis and recovery as "our journey." As a flight attendant scheduler, Barry is able to stay calm during hectic, fast-paced situations. More to the story...


Breast Cancer One

Delta's Pink Plane

Delta Pink 767-400 ER

Delta’s international Boeing 767-400ER, which has adorned a pink-themed livery since 2010, was due for a repaint this year. Its refreshed look takes advantage of a unique paint formula to wrap the fuselage in a pink ribbon.

This year marks Delta’s 11th annual survivor flight, which carried more than 140 employee breast cancer survivors on board Delta’s newly painted pink plane on the flight’s first international route from New York City to Mexico City on Oct. 1.

To further raise awareness and support for breast cancer research, Delta employees will wear pink uniforms and sell pink products, including pink lemonade and pink headsets, on board and in Delta Sky Clubs throughout the month of October. Proceeds from the airline's pink products will benefit BCRF.

Since 2005, Delta employees, customers and their friends and family members have raised more than $9.2 million for BCRF, including last year’s efforts of $1.3 million. The collective contributions have also funded the vital work of 37 different research projects over the years.


Give Now

Delta is proud to partner with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the highest-rated breast cancer organization in the country. Over the course of our 11-year partnership, Delta’s customers and employees have raised over $9 million for BCRF.  These donations fund vital research and awareness programs aimed at putting an end to breast cancer. In 2015-16, BCRF has over 240 researchers working on six continents to achieve that goal.  Your donation today will help support those researchers and carry us closer to a cure. Thank you.

Take a peek inside the lab of Delta-sponsored BCRF researcher Dr. Sofia Merajver to learn how she is putting your donations to work and carrying us closer to a cure.  She and her team at the University of Michigan are using innovative technologies to identify which cells within a tumor will spread through a process called metastasis, and whether aggressive breast cancer cells are capable of spreading.

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Researcher Spotlight

Catching up with five BCRF researchers who have benefited from funds raised by Delta Employees and our millions of Customers world-wide.

More In-depth Information From BCRFCURE.orgopens in a new window

Dr. Sofia D. Merajver

Dr. Merajver

“Metastasis affects millions of us worldwide, so it is extremely important to know which cells will spread, and that coupled with our ability to know every gene in every tumor will eliminate metastasis one patient at a time.” 

Dr. Sofia Merajver has been a BCRF grantee since 2004.  In her lab at the University of Michigan, Dr. Merajver is working with a diverse team of researchers to identify therapies which impede the movement of breast cancer cells, which spread through a process called metastasis. Learn About Her Approach

Dr. Hedvig Hricak

Dr Hricak

At the Department of Radiology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Dr. Hedvig Hricak and her colleagues run a renowned clinical research training program in breast imaging.  Their work seeks to foster international collaborations that will improve patient care and outcomes the world over.  The program trains radiologists from across the globe in breast imaging interpretation and clinical research methodology.  Dr. Hricak has been a BCRF grantee since 2004.  See Her Worldwide Outreach

Dr. Rosette Liderau

Dr. Rosette Lidereau

As one of BCRF’s many international researchers, Dr. Rosette Lidereau conducts her work studying the causes of breast cancer metastasis at the Institut Curie in Paris. Dr. Lidereau has been a BCRF grantee since 2007.  Her research has provided a greater understanding of the processes behind the spread of breast cancer cells to other parts of the body, and seeks to identify therapeutic methods to both prevent metastasis and treat aggressive forms of breast cancer.  Learn About Her Contribution


Dr. Anne McTiernan


Dr. Anne McTiernan is entering her third year as a BCRF grantee.  From her research headquarters at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Dr. McTiernan focuses on the effects of lifestyle factors including diet, physical activity and weight on breast cancer prevention and survivorship.  She studies the impact of obesity on blood vessel formation, which is fundamental to tumor growth and advancement, along with the effects of weight loss on specific protein levels that are shown to affect blood vessel growth. What You Should Understand

Dr. Stuart Aaronson


Dr. Stuart A. Aaronson’s research has produced important discoveries in the treatment of aggressive breast cancers such as triple negative, HER2 positive and inflammatory breast cancers.  In his lab studies, Dr. Aaronson focuses on the biology of breast cancer in order to identify biological markers that can be useful in developing new therapies.  He is a professor and Founding Chairman, Emeritus, in the Department of Oncological Science at Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine in New York City and has been a BCRF grantee since 2001. Developing New Therapies

Research in Action

•  Every day more than 800 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with invasive or DCIS breast cancer.
•  40,000 U.S women will die from the disease in 2015.
•  There are nearly 3 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. alone.
• Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer.
•  Breast cancer death rates decreased by 34% from 1990-2010.
•  1 in 1,000 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in his lifetime.
•  Every two minutes a woman in the U.S. is diagnosed with breast cancer.
•  Approximately 12,880 U.S women under 40 will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015.
•  Approximately 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of the disease.
•  Since 1993, BCRF-funded investigators have been deeply involved in every major breakthrough in prevention, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship.

•  BCRF has funded over 9.3 million hours of research since 1993.
•  91 cents of every dollar spent by BCRF goes directly to research and awareness programs.
•  Since 1993, BCRF has raised over $ 570 million for breast cancer research and awareness.
•  In 2014-15, BCRF supported more than 235 researchers in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Australia.
•  Delta-donated funds support five BCRF researchers (two in New York and one each in Detroit, Seattle and Paris) in 2015-16.
•  Delta employees across the globe are united in their passion and support for BCRF and its critical mission to find a cure for breast cancer.
•  In 2014, Delta raised $1.3 million for BCRF.
•  Delta has raised over $9 million for BCRF throughout our partnership.
•  Delta-donated funds have supported 37 BCRF research projects over the course of our partnership.

On behalf of Delta Employees worldwide, we would like to thank our customers for their part in helping us to raise over $500 million dollars in direct donations to BCRF as well as for our 31 Delta-funded research projects.


Survivor Stories

Inspiring stories of strength, endurance and triumph in the face of breast cancer.

Fatima Matson

Fatima Matson

“There are a lot of things that my legacy will entail when I'm gone, but dying of cancer at 32 years old and leaving my husband and babies behind isn't one of those things.”  Read Fatima's Story

Renee Tanner

Renee Tanner

“When I'm serving pink lemonade, I'm getting a whole lot more out of our campaign than promoting awareness and raising funds for breast cancer research.  I feel like I'm continuing her battle and celebrating the beautiful life of my little sister…”  Read Renee's Story

Teresa Douglas

Teresa Douglas

I found myself dealing with cancer, a divorce and raising two children." Read Teresa's Story

John Carroll

John Carroll

My dad was diagnosed with breast cancer six years ago when he was 75 . . . It is my simple hope to shed some light on the fact that men do die from breast cancer, and early detection is critical."  Read John's Story


Shelly Sullivan

Shelly Sullivan

“I still remember many things about that summer:  the look in my husband’s eyes when I told him, the way my father’s shoulders slumped when he was around me, my mom who always had a smile on her face for me." Read Shelly's Story

Cindy Burnett

Cindy Burnett

“The biopsy was scheduled for Feb. 7, 1997.  I will never forget that day.”   Read Cindy's Story

Sherry Williams Fortier

Sherry Williams Fortier

"I survived, and that was a blessing within itself.”   Read Sherry's Story

Olinka Rubadiri

Olinka Rubadiri

“My doctor advised that since I had relapsed three times, it would be best to continue my treatment indefinitely to avoid further relapses, which would not be pretty. To this day I continue on chemotherapy once every three weeks."  Read Olinka's Story


Angela E. Watson

Angela Watson

“I needed to tell my daughters that mama had breast cancer and that they would need to understand what was about to happen (i.e., hair loss, change in weight and appearance, the removal of my right breast and chemotherapy treatments)."  Read Angela's Story

Carolyn Cherry

Carolyn Cherry

“I came back for a second appointment . . . and found out it was breast cancer, stage two. I was in total shock but I knew then at that moment I was a survivor."  Read Carolyn's Story

Judy Hamilton

Judy Hamilton

When I first found out I had been diagnosed with breast cancer, I felt as though the rug had been pulled out from under my feet."  Read Judy's Story

Pamela Sutton

Pamela Sutton

He confirmed that I had POEMS Syndrome.  He said it was a rare case of cancer that is not seen often . . . it is under the umbrella of multiple myeloma." Read Pamela's Story


Amanda Ross

Amanda Ross

I am now a nearly one-year survivor and am still in treatment, taking my medication and living life to the fullest."  Read Amanda's Story

Alice Ramsey

Alice Ramsey

My new uniforms had arrived, and as I looked at the red dress I had an epiphany: we had a red dress, that was great, but since we have a pink plane why not a pink dress for October?" Read Alice's Story

Stacey Herdering

Stacey Herdering

"No one knew how this could happen to a healthy runner at the age of 41.”  Read Stacey's Story

Rachael Rensink

Rachael Rensink

“I had a scare last month when I found a lump in my arm pit.  Luckily it was nothing, but it’s a fear that remains right under the surface.”  Read Rachael's Story

Sharon Harvey

Sharon Harvey

“I am a survivor… I am a cancer survivor… Those are words I just can’t stop saying." Read Sharon's Story