February 23, 2001

Nominations sought for Thompson cancer award

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Vanderbilt resident Vatsal Thakkar’s film Ravaged will again be shown at the Belcourt Theatre on March 3 at 12:30 p.m. The one-hour movie is a drama about a man’s struggle with depression and post traumatic stress disorder after his girlfriend has been killed and he has been shot. (photo by Dana Johnson)

Nominations are being sought for the 2001 Jerry Thompson Spirit of Survivorship Award, which will be presented in June during Middle Tennessee Cancer Survivors Day festivities at Bicentennial Mall.

The Survivors Day planning committee, which includes representatives of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, established the award last year as a way to remember and honor the late Tennessean columnist’s legacy of determination and hope.

“When Jerry died last year, the Middle Tennessee community lost an important voice for cancer survivorship,” said Cynthia Manley, public affairs officer for Vanderbilt-Ingram. Manley, who serves on the planning committee, is also a former Tennessean colleague of Thompson.

“From his first diagnosis until his death, Jerry showed by example what it means to be a true survivor. More importantly, he went beyond his personal experience to become a beacon of hope to others facing cancer and a persistent advocate for education, prevention and research.”

The award, which is sponsored by The Tennessean, seeks to honor individuals who carry on Thompson’s example of taking an experience with cancer and using it to make a contribution to cancer survivors (including families) in Middle Tennessee.

Nominees may be adults or children who have had a close personal experience with cancer (their own disease or a loved one’s) and who have made a significant community contribution to residents of Middle Tennessee in one of more of the following areas: public awareness of cancer and related issues; early detection and screening; prevention; survivor and family support; and/or advocacy.

Deadline for nominations is April 2. Nominations postmarked after that date will be considered for the 2002 award.

For more information or to obtain a nomination form, call (615) 329-1124.

Middle Tennessee Cancer Survivors Day is an annual, community-wide celebration of cancer survivors and their families held in conjunction with National Cancer Survivors Day on the first Sunday of June. In 2001, the event will be 2 to 4 p.m., Sunday, June 3, with registration beginning at 1 p.m.

In addition to the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, sponsoring organizations include the American Cancer Society, Baptist Hospital, Candlelighters, Cool Springs YMCA – After Breast Cancer Program, Gilda’s Club Nashville, Komen Foundation, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, T.J. Martell Foundation, Meharry Medical College, Sarah Cannon Cancer Center, Matthew Walker Healthcare Center, Middle Tennessee Chapter of the Oncology Nursing Society, Minnie Pearl Cancer Foundation, Dan Rudy Cancer Center at Saint Thomas Health Services, The Tennessean, Tennessee Breast Cancer Coalition, and the Yul Brynner Head and Neck Cancer Foundation.