SAN FRANCISCO-Surviving cancer is a joyous thing in itself. A new awards program will spotlight that joy and share the stories of 12 survivors who are “everyday heroes,” in an effort to help others who are struggling with the disease.
SAN FRANCISCOSurviving cancer is a joyous thing in itself. A new awards program will spotlight that joy and share the stories of 12 survivors who are everyday heroes, in an effort to help others who are struggling with the disease.
The Courage Awards: Everyday Heroes Fighting and Winning Against Cancer was started this year by Amgen, InTouch magazine, Cancer Care, Inc., and the Oncology Nursing Society. The program aims to honor those who may not think they have done anything special but who truly have been courageous in their effort to win back their health. Winners will receive $1,000, and their stories will appear in the magazine throughout 2001.
Priscilla Hartung, director of social services for Cancer Care, said that the awards program will have meaning for many patients. It is important for people in any stage of dealing with cancer to hear the amazing stories of everyday people who have survived, she said.
Cancer Care, an agency based in New York that helps cancer patients and their families nationwide, receives calls daily from people who ask to talk with someone who has survived what they have gone through, she said.
The Courage Awards will help many people because they not only recognize survivors but also publicly share the personal struggles and stories of survivors. Cancer patients will always reach out for each other, Ms. Hartung said.
Suzyn Waldman, who spent years in Broadway musical theater and then became the first woman TV sports announ-cer for Major League Baseball, is the spokeswoman for the new awards program. She found out she had breast cancer just before she debuted as the play-by-play announcer for the New York Yankees. She underwent 5 months of chemotherapy and 2 months of radiation, all while broadcasting the Yankee games.
As part of the awards program, Amgen will make donations to 15 cancer organizations, $10 for every entry form received. Entrants can select which group they want to receive the donation.
Ms. Waldman, Ms. Hartung, and a committee of leading oncology experts will select the 12 most compelling and inspirational stories for the awards.
Eligible candidates must be US residents over 18 years of age (or the legal guardians for those under 18) and have been diagnosed with cancer. Cancer survivors, their friends, family members, co-workers, or members of their medical team can submit nominations.
The two-page entry form must be accompanied by a statement of no more than 1,000 words that detail the nominees cancer diagnosis, treatment, physical and emotional obstacles/challenges, accomplishments during or since treatment, and the people who have helped along the way.
The official form and entry details are available in InTouch magazine and online at www.courageawards.com. Completed entries should be sent to: The Courage Awards Program, P.O. Box 388, San Francisco, CA 94104-0388. Nominations must be postmarked by October 31, 2000. Winners will be notified by phone no later than December 31, 2000.