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CancerCare Partnerships in Hope Awards Dinner

A Celebration of Hope

CancerCare client William R. Reader with host S. Epatha Merkerson
     After his lifelong partner was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, William R. Reader suddenly found himself in a whole new role as a caregiver and, after his partner’s death, in a whole new world of grief. Sharing his story of how CancerCare has helped him cope and heal from his devastating loss was one of the deeply touching moments of the CancerCare Partnerships in Hope Awards Dinner, held on February 24 at New York City’s beautiful Gotham Hall.

Nearly 300 people attended the event, which was hosted by celebrated actress and longtime CancerCare advocate S. Epatha Merkerson.

Now in its 28th year, the Partnerships in Hope Awards Dinner celebrated Reader along with three health care luminaries dedicated to supporting people affected by a cancer diagnosis.

CancerCare CEO Helen H. Miller, S. Epatha Merkerson, with Agi Hirshberg of The Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Research, and Lisa Manheim

Help and Hope Awardee Agi Hirshberg, President and Founder of The Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, was also a caregiver to a loved one facing pancreatic cancer — her beloved husband, Ron. Agi shared the touching story of how she and Ron met, married and ran a successful international business together before Ron’s diagnosis and death in 1996. Soon after, Agi started a foundation in honor of her husband to help other people with pancreatic cancer get access to better treatment, and since 1998 the Hirshberg Foundation has provided more than $600,000 in grants to CancerCare to support our financial assistance program for pancreatic cancer patients and their families.

Nicholas Nicolaides of Morphotek, Inc.

CancerCare also honored two of its corporate partners that have provided crucial support for our free education workshops and publications, especially for people facing cancers of the pancreas, lungs, or ovaries. President and CEO Nicholas Nicolaides accepted the Beacon Award on behalf of Morphotek, Inc., honored for their support of CancerCare’s free educational programs for people facing lung and ovarian cancers.

Partnership Awardee Eli Lilly and Company, honored for its continued support of a wide range of CancerCare educational programs, was represented by Vice President Tim Cook, who included a moving personal tribute to a loved one currently facing cancer in his acceptance of the award.

Tim Cook of Eli Lilly and Company with CancerCare Board of Trustees President Susan Smirnoff.
This year’s honorees exemplified CancerCare’s mission of providing emotional and practical support to help people better cope with and manage the many challenges of a cancer diagnosis – and especially its emotional impact not only on the individual but on his or her family and loved ones, too. During his address, Reader described initially feeling as if he were “sinking under the waves” of his partner’s diagnosis – until they found CancerCare.

“CancerCare threw us a [lifeline], and drew us into their caring and professional world.”

OncoMed's Kaveh Askari with wife Eleanor

OncoMed’s Kaveh Askari with wife Eleanor

CancerCare's Sue Lee with our guests from Morphotek

CancerCare’s Sue Lee (center) with our guests from Morphotek

Michael Massello of Lilly and his wife Dr. Maite Del Carmen La Vega Delgado of Beth Israel Medical Center

Michael Massello of Lilly and his wife Dr. Maite Del Carmen La Vega Delgado of Beth Israel Medical Center

To view more photos from the Awards Dinner,
please visit our online photo gallery on Facebook.

CancerCare is grateful for the support
of Partnerships in Hope sponsors:





Abbott Laboratories
Allos Therapeutics
American Society of Clinical Oncology
ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Elsevier Oncology
Genomic Health
Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide
OncoMed: The Oncology Pharmacy
OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
PharmaHealth Pharmacy
Precis Engineering/Arcus Design Group

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