October 21, 2015
Did you know that for the past 23 years, the Foundation’s Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program has honored those who fight for cancer detection and early detection in their daily lives? This year’s theme, Utilizing Your Platform, recognized winners for using their unique platforms to promote the message of cancer prevention and early detection.
The luncheon featured Master of Ceremonies, Fox News National Security Correspondent Jennifer Griffin, and award winners Sandra Lee, Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, Sharon Percy Rockefeller and Franki Roberts. Jennifer began by sharing her own story of battling breast cancer and emphasized the importance of knowing and communicating family health history.
Television personality Sandra Lee was presented the Excellence in Cancer Awareness Award by Kasey Crowley (spouse of Rep. Joe Crowley, NY) who spoke from her perspective as a nurse. Ms. Lee was recognized for utilizing her personal breast cancer diagnosis to educate women and encourage them to have regular mammograms, which was how her cancer was detected. This was Ms. Lee’s first public appearance since her May interview on “Good Morning America” when she shared her diagnosis.
Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, accomplished oncologist, cancer researcher and assistant professor at Columbia University, was awarded the Distinguished Service in Media Award for media leadership. He was honored as the esteemed author of “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer,” which was awarded the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction. Dr. Mukherjee highlighted the importance of inspiring students to think big when it comes to using technology to discover cures and the importance of keeping medical research projects funded. President of WETA Sharon Percy Rockefeller was given a Special Recognition Award for her role in translating Dr. Mukherjee’s book into a six hour film series for PBS.
Congressional spouse Franki Roberts (Spouse of Sen. Pat Roberts, Kansas) was awarded the Congressional Families Leadership Award. Mrs. Roberts has a long-standing commitment to raising awareness and cancer prevention in her home state. She and Senator Roberts have served as Honorary Co-Chairs of the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s health awareness and cancer screening booth at the annual Kansas State Fair since his first election to the Senate in 1997.
More than 20 Members of Congress attended, including Leader Nancy Pelosi, who offered remarks from the podium, Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Pat Roberts, Rep. Lois Capps, Rep. Diana DeGette, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Rep. Billy Long, Rep. Doris Matsui, Rep. Jim McGovern and Rep. Kevin Yoder, among others. A group of 37 bipartisan, bicameral Congressional spouses and diplomatic spouses helped compose the audience of cancer advocates.
This moving program challenged the audience to utilize their platforms in their everyday lives, educate themselves about cancer prevention and share this knowledge with others.