FedEx dedicates airplane in honor of St. Jude patient

FedEx names plane after St. Jude patient

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - For some, the World Golf Championship FedEx St. Jude Invitational is about the golf, but for others it’s about the meaning behind the name.

On Thursday morning, FedEx dedicated one of its Cessna Caravan airplanes in honor of Reid Russell, a St. Jude patient.

Reid’s mom, Michelle, said this was a way to put the top on a long journey.

“To see all the pain and tears we went through -- today to see the smiles -- it's kind of overwhelming,” she said.

Reid is the eighth “Purple Eagle” honoree, and his name will fly high on the plane to serve as a symbol of hope for all St. Jude families.

“It's awesome,” Reid said. “I was totally not expecting it but I'm really happy about it."

Reid’s mother said he was diagnosed with cancer at just 7 years old.

"He came home from school and I asked him a question,” she said. “It was as simple as that. And when I was standing up and he was sitting down, when he looked up at me his right eye looked up at me -- and his left eye stayed straight."

She said they were sent to St. Jude shortly thereafter.

Reid's dad, Barry, is a pilot at FedEx.

He said it was a surreal moment when the company recognized his son's journey.

“I went in and they broke it to me what they were going to do,” he said. “And they asked me if I wanted to say a few things and at this point I can't talk cause I'm bawling."

For children going through the same thing, Reid had some advice.

"Just keep pulling through, it may get hard but at some place there will be times that it will get better,” he said.

Now, Reid is ready to enjoy to the weekend at the WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational, and watch his favorite golfer, Daniel Berger.

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