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WebMD Announces 2012 Health Heroes

NEW YORK, Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- WebMD Health Corp. (Nasdaq: WBMD), the leading source of health information, today announced its 2012 WebMD Health Heroes award winners. Now in its seventh year, WebMD's Health Heroes awards celebrate extraordinary Americans who met a health challenge and gave back to others in an inspiring way. This year's nominees include extraordinary people who pushed past adversity with passion, inspiration, and innovation and extended health solutions and support to others.

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"WebMD health heroes are inspiring individuals who encourage health and wellness in each of their communities," said Clare Martorana, Editor in Chief, WebMD the Magazine. "We are excited to celebrate their continued achievements and support their goals to make an impact in the lives of those facing their own health challenges."

This year, WebMD Health Heroes were awarded $2,500 each to use for their foundation or project. The 2012 WebMD Health Heroes are:

A Leading Advocate for Lung Cancer Patients

Bonnie Addario was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2003. After months of difficult treatments, Addario, 65, recovered and decided to help others survive the disease. Lung cancer research receives a fraction of the funding other cancer research attracts. In 2006, she set up the Bonnie J. Addario Foundation from her home in San Carlos, Calif., to raise awareness of lung cancer and money for research. To date, her foundation has raised $10 million.

In an effort to help in the fight to increase survival among cancer patients, Addario launched a second nonprofit, the Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute, which developed bio-repositories in California and Colorado now used by scientists and doctors at 17 institutions in the United States and Europe for joint research. The bio-repositories offer tissue, blood, and plasma samples from lung cancer patients that researchers can study in their pursuit for a cure.  

Raising Awareness of Epilepsy

Richard and Debra Siravo suffered a devastating loss in 1998 when their 5-year-old son, Matty, died after a prolonged epileptic seizure. Matty's seizure occurred after brain surgery to reduce the epilepsy symptoms he'd had since infancy.

Rather than succumb to grief or anger, Deb­ra and Richard decided to help others. Starting in their basement in Wake­field, R.I., they set up The Matty Fund to provide information and resources to other families dealing with epilepsy.

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