“I can FINALLY see the days might be filled with beauty and light. I arrive at the airport... and all I can say when the wheelchair arrives is, ‘No thank you, not this time...’”
Reading from her personal diary, CancerCare client and breast cancer survivor Sammy Blassberg held rapt the more than 350 people who joined us on March 3 for CancerCare's annual Partnerships in Hope awards dinner, to honor organizations and individuals who have made a profound difference in the lives of women facing breast cancer.
|Help and Hope honorees (l-r) Dr. Giovanni Caforio, Bristol-Myers Squibb; keynote speaker Sammy Blassberg; Hala Moddelmog, Susan G. Komen for the Cure; and Dr. Steven Shak, Genomic Health.|
This year's event celebrated the advances—and hope—our honorees have achieved in funding more research, developing better treatments and advocating better patient care, including the support each gives to CancerCare's free counseling, education and financial assistance for people affected by cancer.
Honored were Hala Moddelmog, President and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure; and industry leaders in breast cancer treatments and diagnostics, Genomic Health and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
|Komen for the Cure's Hala Moddelmog (r), with CancerCare Executive Director Diane Blum. Komen for the Cure is the world's largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists and a long-time supporter of CancerCare's financial assistance program and free counseling services to women with breast cancer.|
Dr. Giovanni Caforio, senior vice president of oncology for Bristol-Myers Squibb, accepted the Partnership in Hope Award on behalf of his company, for its leadership in the field of oncology and pioneering new treatments that extend and enhance the lives of people with cancer.
Dr. Steven Shak, Genomic Health's founder and chief medical officer, accepted CancerCare's Beacon Award, in recognition of Genomic's innovations in diagnostics for breast cancer.
|CancerCare board member Susan Smirnoff, Ruder Finn and Mistress of Ceremonies Carol Lin.|
Mistress of Ceremonies Carol Lin, veteran broadcast journalist and former CNN reporter, shared her own challenges, heartaches and triumphs as a caregiver to loved ones facing cancer.
Blassberg's unique keynote address capped off the evening's intimate tone. The Southern California native called CancerCare for support after being diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer a little more than a year ago. In diary entries she shared with the attendees, Blassberg expressed her feelings on losing several family members to the disease and the hardships she experienced during her cancer treatment. She ended with words of gratitude to CancerCare and the evening's honorees, who through their contributions to CancerCare directly benefited patients like her.
|Sammy Blassberg with CancerCare social worker Kristy Case, who provided counseling and practical help to Blassberg during and after her treatment.|
“I won’t—and I will never be—helpless again. Not if all of you continue creating partnerships in hope.”
|American Cancer Society's Marcella Crawford and Anne Faustin with David Golub of Mark Krueger & Associates; and Ronny Mosston and Kip Cross of Millennium.
||Allison Axenrod and Haley Dinerman of the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation. Based in New Jersey, the organization advocates for more research and targeted treatments for this form of breast cancer.
||During the opening reception attendees enjoyed a selection of artworks from the 2008 Expressions of a Cancer Journey. The annual juried international art competition, sponsored by Lilly Oncology, features paintings and photography by cancer patients and survivors, caregivers and other people affected by cancer.