Do you know someone who is an exceptional caregiver for a loved one with lung cancer? If so, you have a chance to nominate them for a lung cancer caregiver award! But you'll have to hurry. The deadline is December 31st.
LUNGevity is hosting the 3rd Annual Lung Cancer Caregiver Contest as a way to honor these special people who go the extra mile in caring for a loved one with lung cancer . Katie Dewy Brown, Director of Support and Advocacy at LUNGevity shares, "Caregivers willingly and selflessly devote their time to care for their loved ones, while often neglecting themselves in the process. This contest is a way to recognize these incredible lung cancer caregivers."
The criteria for selecting a winner include:
- 1. Someone who is an advocate for their loved one's medical needs.
- 2. Someone who is supportive and helpful with their loved one's emotional needs.
- 3. Someone who recognizes their own limitations and seeks support as needed in order to be the best caregiver possible.
To Nominate Your Loved One - Visit Caregiver Contest for nomination forms
The Deadline: - December 31, 2012
The Prize - The winner will receive accommodations for two for a week at Cricket House in the historic Gettysburg area of Pennsylvania. The prize also includes round-trip airline tickets for two from anywhere in the continental US. Lung cancer advocate Debi Gemmel, the owner of Cricket House, was caregiver for her husband Chris who passed away from lung cancer in 2009.
Last year, 2012 contest winner Cynthia Siegfried received the award for her above-the-ordinary care for her husband Jim. Cynthia has faced not only Jim's initial diagnosis, but later recurrence of non-small cell lung cancer.
In addition for caring for Jim, Cynthia (along with her husband) have led support groups to help others with life-threatening illnesses. I am so proud to be able to call her my friend! And though Cynthia is an amazingly strong and loving person, it's not her strength and integrity that touches my heart so deeply, but rather her honesty and depth. Honesty and depth that are helping others feel less alone in this world as they take on the job of caregiver for a loved one with lung cancer.
Cynthia shares, "I can tell you that for me, nothing in this journey, including the recurrence, equaled the fear, anxiety, and confusion surrounding the initial diagnosis. Then, it was as if I had been abducted, thrown into a car, and forced to take a trip, without a map, to an alien country."
And from that moment on, "I was a walking nerve ending, my antennae out, searching for signals and messages that might assure me of Jim's ultimate recovery. There were none. No one could say the words I long to hear: 'He is going to be O.K.'."
Cynthia shares more in her book - a book I believe would help anyone who has a loved one living with lung cancer:
The winner of the 1st Annual Contest, David Sidransky, was described as a "strategic warrior" as he maintained hope while caring for his wife Bonnie.
I'm in awe personally as I've witnessed the strength and compassion of lung cancer caregivers over the years. Everyone who has filled that role deserves a huge round of applause. But as a final reminder, don't forget to take care of yourself if you are the caregiver. Your loved one with cancer wants you to be as healthy and happy as possible, and that means not forgetting your own needs.
Photo: National Cancer Institute, Rhoda Baer (photographer)