Racing for a Cure

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It seems appropriate to me to introduce you to a couple I met at this year’s Reno Air Races held just a month ago. When I first met Ken Anderson he was polishing his white Formula One Racer, Miss U, adorned with pink flames interweaved with pink ribbons.  The name…the pink ribbons, I knew there had to be a story here.

This was Ken’s second year piloting this Wagner air racer at Reno. Ken and his crew hail from Anchorage, Alaska where he is a pilot for UPS.  He first learned to fly a Cub at the age of 17 in his home state of Wyoming.  He has had an active, and impressive aviation career.  Now he has added air racing to his resume.

I was impressed with  the story behind the plane. The Miss U has a long and illustrious history.  Formerly the Sky Dog, the Alouette, the Okie Twister to name a few. She has been racing at Reno for nearly three decades.

Even yet the story I find the most compelling is that of the purpose of the plane and the flying dedication for Ken Anderson and his wife Amy, who‘s also a pilot.  Amy, like me, is a breast cancer survivor.  Any proceeds from the flying of the Miss U is used for Breast Cancer Awareness and needs for cancer patient undergoing treatment in their  hometown.  Amy is also working to form a Breast Cancer Foundation.

It is obvious the dedication to this project.  It is also a noticeable commitment of love for his wife that Ken flys the Miss U at Reno.  He wants to win at the Reno Air Races and wants to help women win the race against breast cancer. It is a ten thousand dollar commitment for them to just attend the Reno Air Races.  Many of the planes that attend are there with the help of sponsors.  The Miss U Flying Team comes on their own nickle.  Imagine how much more they could do to promote awareness and provide care for the sick if they just had some sponsorships.

Perhaps this story doesn’t belong in an aviation magazine, but I think it does.  With 1 in 8 women being diagnosed annually, we are all affected it…we all have had friends or loved-ones affected. I am a two time breast cancer survivor and I applaud the actions of the Miss U Team.  I am touched to see this being addressed in such a public fashion.  The Reno Air Races, as well as air shows across the country, are attend by thousands of women who appreciate attention being drawn to this cause.  Sponsors would be smart to jump on board and support those in these venues that are trying to raise awareness.  We all know women like to shop, and would support those sponsors that step up to the plate.

There are many races in life…the Reno Air Races or the race against cancer.  The tail of Miss U clearly states where the hearts of this racing team lies…it is to honor those women who did not win the race.

I would like to encourage anyone who would consider sponsorship at any level to contact Amy Anderson.  You can contact her at or by calling 907-947-8656.

Please forward their story on and let’s help them help others.  Thank you.

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