Help Fight Cancer With Bears in the Air 2018

People who suffer from the dreaded disease known as cancer endure a long period of treatment and recovery back to good health — and for many cancer patients, much of the duration of that period of time is spent far away from home. The result is the need for affordable housing; and that should be the least of the worries of cancer patients and their families while fighting the disease.

This is where you come in: to participate in a fun initiative to help fund that temporary housing.

Help Fight Cancer With Bears in the Air 2018

When you participate in Bears in the Air, both you and a recipient will receive a stuffed bear — each of which comes with a unique identification to connect them as a pair.

You will take photographs of your bear traveling with you at well-known sites around the world or in everyday life; and then you share the photographs of the adventures of your bear via social media.

The aforementioned recipient of the second bear is a participant of Hope Lodge in Atlanta, which has provided greater than 150,000 nights of free lodging to at least 8,000 patients and caregivers since it first opened 20 years ago in 1998; and it is one of 37 such temporary housing facilities in the United States and Puerto Rico as part of an initiative of the American Cancer Society.

The “parents” of the stuffed bears can choose to share their adventures — or simply follow along with the adventures of the bear twin.

All it takes for you to be involved is a donation on your part of $50.00, which covers the cost of both stuffed bears and transaction processing costs associated with the donation to the fundraising efforts of Gretchen’s Gazelles in supporting the 2018 fundraising campaign of the American Cancer Society.

More About Hope Lodge in Atlanta

Emory University generously donated the land for what is known as the Winn-Dixie Campus of Hope Lodge in Atlanta — technically, it is located in the city of Decatur — and the American Cancer Society raised the additional funds from organizations, companies, and individuals.

The facility is comprised of 52 rooms; and it offers free lodging as well as free transportation to treatment facilities for guests of Hope Lodge in Atlanta. Some of the amenities at this temporary residence include a common kitchen, dining room, a business center, gardens, and laundry facilities.

Donated funds from individuals, corporations and medical facilities are critical for the Hope Lodge in Atlanta to be able to provide a place where medical treatment can be the first focus for the patient and family; and they can be free from worrying about the costs of lodging.

About Gretchen

Jane Mitchell and her daughter Gretchen

Jane Mitchell and her daughter Gretchen at the Delta Jet Drag in 2014. Photograph used with permission.

Gretchen’s Gazelles is but one of the teams which will once again participate in the Delta Jet Drag on Friday, May 4, 2018. They are focused on raising a total of $200,000.00 — which is significantly loftier than the goal of $85,000.00 in 2017; but they already raised $52,987.09 at the time this article was written and have 45 days to go — in honor of Gretchen, who is the daughter of Jane Mitchell. Gretchen lost her life to cancer at only 33 years of age.

“Gretchen was a young, healthy mother of 2 girls before she was diagnosed in May 2013”, Jane Mitchell — who is a flight attendant for Delta Air Lines — wrote at her official Internet web site for raising funds in memory of her daughter. “She fought this horrible disease with such strength and determination. Gretchen’s outcome was looking better in 2014 after several treatments and she was continuing to live life to the fullest. In 2015 she received news that her scan was not clear and the cancer was back. After consulting with several doctors and trying some new treatments there was ultimately nothing that could be done to stop the cancer growth. Gretchen passed on 7/7/15 leaving behind many loving family members and friends. Her life touched so many people while she was here and even more since she has passed. I will continue my efforts on Gretchen’s behalf in the hopes that another family does not have to endure this grief.”

You might have also heard about Kenneth Gorelick — who is better known professionally as Kenny G — serenading surprised passengers during an impromptu performance aboard an airplane operated by Delta Air Lines from Tampa to Los Angeles on Saturday, April 22, 2017. Flight attendants asked passengers to help raise $1,000.00 for Relay for Life — but within approximately five minutes, passengers helped to raise greater than $2,000.00 for the American Cancer Society. The flight attendant in question was none other than Jane Mitchell; and the team was none other than Gretchen’s Gazelles.

Gretchen’s Gazelles finished in 2017 as the top fundraising team of Delta Air Lines and placed ninth in the United States. Additionally, the team was recently recognized as an American Cancer Society National Team of Excellence.


I finally had the pleasure to meet Jane Mitchell in person more than once; and I hope to see her again soon. For her to turn a personal tragedy into an incredibly productive cause is truly commendable — and I admire her for that. The memory of her daughter Gretchen lives on.

I had the honor and pleasure of participating in the Delta Jet Drag back in 2015 by helping to pull a Boeing 757-200, which weighs approximately 125,000 pounds — and the experience was anything but a drag.

Will Gretchen’s Gazelles surpass the $200,000.00 goal? I believe they will do so with aplomb — but you can help by donating $50.00 to Bears in the Air in the ongoing fight against the scourge of cancer.

Source: Gretchen’s Gazelles. Photograph used with permission.

6 thoughts on “Help Fight Cancer With Bears in the Air 2018”

  1. Blind Squirrel says:

    As the only officially licensed Ted E. Bear in Georgia (actually, the license plate on my truck looks thus: TEDEBEAR) I have jumped into this battle with all paws. Thanks for posting this wonderful cause.

    Blind Squirrel aka Ted E. Bear

  2. Steven says:

    Thank you for posting such a well-written and poignant article to help remind us all of the impact that cancer has on so many lives. This program is such a creative opportunity to personally get involved in the fight against cancer. Together, we can truly make a difference.

    P.S. Thank you Blind Squirrel!

  3. IlovePhilbin says:

    Thanks for promoting! So excited for Philbin to meet all of his new friends.Follow him on social media!
    Twitter: @BearsInTheAir
    Instagram: BearInTheAir

    1. IlovePhilbin says:

      Whoops! Typo. Philbin’s Insta is BearsInTheAir

  4. Blind Squirrel says:

    P.S. Thank you Blind Squirrel!

    You are most welcome. Mishka (as he will be called) is joining our already proud family of Teddy Bear and Freddy E. Bear. I think we will stop there. Three bears has a nice ring to it.

    Blind Squirrel

  5. IlovePhilbin says:

    Whoops! Typo. Philbin’s Insta is BearsInTheAir

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