Just like every day at the New York Stock Exchange, on Sept. 10, 2018, the markets opened with a clanging of a bell. But this day was different: 7-year-old cancer patient Tripp Lasseter had the honor of ringing the opening bell, alongside Dan Amos, chairman and CEO of Aflac.
Tripp and a fellow pediatric cancer patient, 4-year-old Emrie Buchanan, were invited to participate in the morning ceremony to commemorate National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and celebrate the launch of Aflac’s new initiative “My Special Aflac Duck.”
The robotic duck is specifically designed to provide support and comfort to the brave children as they go through their cancer treatment.
“Not only does it provide comfort and joy for children with cancer, it also helps them communicate,” explained Catherine Hernandez-Blades, senior vice president and chief brand and communications officer at Aflac. “Sometimes it’s difficult — particularly for small children — to understand exactly what’s going on with them. But through these feeling cards that have various emojis on them, a child can express to their child-life specialist, their oncologist and even their parents how they are feeling today.”
To date, Aflac has invested $3 million to this program and plans to donate the ducks to children diagnosed with cancer in the U.S., free of charge.
Watch Tripp ring the opening bell, and learn more about My Special Aflac Duck in this video.