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Karmanos Cancer Institute Honors Inspirational Individuals And Organizations With Its 2013 Heroes Of Breast Cancer Awards

DETROIT, Oct. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Since 1995, the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute has celebrated National Breast Cancer Awareness Month by recognizing individuals and organizations for raising awareness of breast cancer through education, research and the promotion of early detection, treatment and survivorship. Continuing this tradition, the Karmanos Cancer Institute presented its 19th Annual Heroes of Breast Cancer Awards on Oct. 29. More than 200 guests attended the event at the Max M. Fisher Music Center. Radio and television personality Ann Delisi, host of " Ann Delisi's Essential Music" on WDET 101.9 FM, served as emcee. Guests were entertained by members of the Detroit Symphony Civic Jazz Ensembles as well as local songwriter Steve Acho, one of the evening's awardees.



"It's a privilege to recognize this year's Heroes and all they have done to help save lives," said Gerold Bepler, M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO, Karmanos Cancer Institute. "Tonight's awardees are certainly worthy of this honor for educating our community, for advocating and raising funds to help advance cancer research and access to care; and they do so with compassion, enthusiasm, determination – even through music. Please, don't stop.

"I promise you, our dedicated team at Karmanos won't stop either. We are inspired by all that has been done by our Heroes just as we are inspired by our patients who fuel our relentless commitment to end this disease. Their fight is our fight and we will remain vigilant in our mission to eradicate cancer."

Maureen Keenan Meldrum, director, Breast Cancer Special Programs at Karmanos and chair of the Susan G. Komen Detroit Race for the Cure® added, "We recognize our Heroes one evening during this special month but their commitment to this cause and their service to others will last far beyond October. We celebrate their accomplishments, and remember and honor those who lost their battle.

"We have made tremendous progress, with breast cancer death rates decreasing in the United States since 1990, and with three million breast cancer survivors in the United States. Yet, as long as there are women and men being diagnosed with late-stage disease due to lack of awareness, access to screening, resources and care, we must continue to work together so that all people have the best chance of surviving this disease. Together, we can and will make a difference"

For more information about breast cancer services call 1-800-KARMANOS (1-800-527-6266) or go to   

About the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute Located in mid-town Detroit, Michigan, the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute is one of 41 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Caring for more than 6,000 new patients annually on a budget of $260 million, conducting more than 700 cancer-specific scientific investigation programs and clinical trials, Karmanos is among the nation's best cancer centers. Through the commitment of 1,000 staff, including nearly 300 physicians and researchers on faculty at the Wayne State University School of Medicine, and supported by thousands of volunteer and financial donors, Karmanos strives to prevent, detect and eradicate all forms of cancer. Its long-term partnership with the WSU School of Medicine enhances the collaboration of critical research and academics related to cancer care. Gerold Bepler, M.D., Ph.D., is the Institute's president and chief executive officer. For more information call 1-800-KARMANOS (1-800-527-6266) or go to .

Below is a list of the 2013 Heroes of Breast Cancer Awardees.

Karmanos Cancer Institute's 2013 Heroes of Breast Cancer Awardees

In recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute presented its 19th Annual Heroes of Breast Cancer Awards on Oct. 29. The awards honor individuals and organizations that have distinguished themselves by educating people about breast cancer, conducting breast cancer research, and promoting breast cancer awareness through early detection, treatment and survivorship. The following awards were given at this year's event.

LEADERSHIP AWARD – Joint Award For helping to bring about a society that now encourages people to speak out about their illness, where funding for breast cancer research is improving each year, and a society where more and more people are learning about breast cancer.
  • State Representative Gail Haines (R- 43rd District, Oakland County) and State Senator Roger Kahn, M.D. (R- Saginaw Township

Currently, many health plans do not cover oral anti-cancer medications at the same level as intravenous treatments given in a doctor's office or hospital. State Representative Gail Haines and State Senator Roger Kahn co-authored Oral Chemotherapy Access legislation that will allow Michigan to join many other states ensuring that patients have access to all anti-cancer medications, regardless of how they are administered. This common-sense legislation will make a dramatic difference in the lives of cancer patients.

"I am very thankful and honored to be receiving the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute Heroes of Breast Cancer Leadership Award. This organization does extraordinary work for the health and well-being of our communities and our state. I am honored to be recognized by such an outstanding group. Their work changes people's lives and embodies the spirit of hope. Thank you again for this tremendous honor." – State Representative Gail Haines

"Being named a Hero of Breast Cancer is a humbling honor, particularly for a physician. So many of our mothers, sisters, wives, friends and daughters have been touched by breast cancer. We are inspired by those who are currently fighting breast cancer, mourn those who have lost their battle and eternally grateful for those who have won their fight. We all must work together to help craft public policy that will allow for continued research and I look forward to continuing to advocate in the legislature for pioneering institutions like Karmanos." – State Senator Roger Kahn, M.D.

MEDIA AWARDS  For media work that communicates important messages about breast cancer.
  • Individual Joint Award: Ashlee Baracy of WDIV Local 4 and her mother Janet Baracy, breast cancer survivor, both from Westland .

WDIV Local 4 Reporter Ashlee Baracy and her mother Janet have shared the intimate and touching story of their loving relationship and united fight throughout Janet's diagnosis, treatment, recovery and survivorship. True role models, together they have helped metro Detroiters fight breast cancer with information, inspiration, tears and laughter. Their work has also been recognized by the YWCA and the Miss America Organization.

"No matter how many years pass, the words 'Mom has cancer' resonate as clearly as they did the first time I heard them. However, the past ten years have molded my perception. Now when I hear the word 'cancer,' the first thing I hear is 'can.' We can hope, we can unite, we can fight and we can win. I thank God for giving my mom a second chance at life and for giving me the platform to reach thousands of people on air every day. My mother and I don't advocate for the sake of accolades, we advocate for awareness. Thank you, Karmanos, for your dedication to one day finding a cure." – Ashlee Baracy
  • Organization: News/Talk WJR 760, a Cumulus Media radio station

Newstalk WJR 760 has produced shows, emceed events and built enthusiasm among their listeners to support the Karmanos Cancer Institute. Through public service announcements and on-air conversations with scientists, clinicians, patients and supporters, listeners have learned about the importance of regular screening and early detection, the role clinical trials play in advancing research and the cancer expertise available at Karmanos.

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