MIAMI — During the last week of September, Delta’s CEO, Ed Bastian, stepped out of his office wearing a pair of sneakers, a cap, and running clothes. He joined his jogging team alongside Atlanta’s Westside BeltLine for a quick 5K run that would prepare him for the ultimate challenge: the New York City Marathon on November 4.

Why would one of the world’s most prolific airline CEOs run the NYC Marathon, some may ask? 

Bastian is on a journey to raise $1 million for the Rally Foundation, of which he has been a longtime supporter.

“Many are surprised to learn that funding for childhood cancer research comes from the private sector, not the government,” Bastian said.

“In fact, less than 4% of the NIH’s cancer budget is designated for childhood cancers. I’m running to raise funds for research to help bring hope to all these kids who so bravely battle this disease.”

Bastian Runs For Results

This is not the first time Delta’s chief runs with a motive. “Four years ago I ran the New York City Marathon after making a commitment to Delta’s NYC team that I would run the marathon when Delta became New York’s No. 1 airline,” Bastian notes on his fundraiser letter.

“When that milestone was achieved, I used the opportunity to raise funds for the Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research. It was my first and, I pledged at the time, my last marathon.”

Bastian jokes that “despite my memories of the torture that 26.2 miles can inflict on my aging body,” he will run the NYC Marathon for the second time.

“I knew it wouldn’t be easy – serving as Delta’s CEO is a 24/7 job, and finding the time to train would be challenging,” admits Bastian.

But his quest to reach the $1 million mark is already underway.

As said in his letter, the Rally Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that empowers volunteers across the country to raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer research to find better treatments with fewer long-term side effects and, ultimately, cures.

For every dollar Rally raises, 92 cents goes directly to funding childhood cancer research and providing hope for kids with cancer.

Bastian notes that he’s been pounding the pavement all summer, getting into shape for the race in November.

So jump in and help Bastian by donating to this noble cause. “I would be honored if you would join me on this journey. $1 million is a lot to raise so any amount you can contribute is appreciated. Please donate,” he says.

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