Nashville, TN Resident Named Winner of LUNGevity's Third Annual Caregiver Contest for Exceptional Support of Wife with Lung Cancer

Jan 23, 2013, 12:05 ET from LUNGevity Foundation

Nation's largest lung cancer nonprofit recognizes critical role caregivers play in lung cancer survivors' lives

WASHINGTON, Jan. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- LUNGevity Foundation is pleased to announce Charles Keene of Nashville, TN as the winner of its Annual Caregiver Contest, recognizing a special individual who has provided exceptional care to a lung cancer patient. Charlie was nominated for the award by his family for the care of his wife Becky, a lung cancer survivor who is still in active treatments.

Over the course of their lives, one in 14 Americans is affected by lung cancer. Lung cancer caregivers are mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, neighbors and family friends of all ages. In most cases, they have no medical background, yet they play a crucial role in helping lung cancer survivors manage their disease, often coordinating medical care and providing emotional and physical support, in addition to tending to household and professional needs. LUNGevity Foundation recognizes the vital role these caregivers play in the fight against the nation's number one cancer killer and honors their commitment and love with its Annual Caregiver Contest.

During the month of November, Lung Cancer Awareness Month, LUNGevity asked the public to submit nominations for an incredible caregiver. Many dedicated men and women were nominated, including husbands, wives, daughters, sons-in-laws, sisters, mothers, fathers, and friends. Charlie Keene was ultimately chosen by an independent panel of judges, based on specific criteria of caregiving:

  • Being an advocate for their loved one's medical needs
  • Being supportive and helpful with their loved one's emotional needs
  • Successfully creating a support network around their patient

"Big Charlie," as he is lovingly called by his family members, was nominated by his daughter in law, Margo, for providing unwavering and exceptional care of his wife, Becky, who has lung cancer.

Margo stated in her nomination. "He (Charlie) accompanies her to every doctor's visit. He stays by her side at home after every treatment. He supports her unconditionally and without a doubt is in this fight too. Big Charlie has never wavered in his role as partner in sickness and in health and I know he will stand by her side for infinity doing anything in his power to make Becky comfortable, happy and keep that bright smile on her beautiful face."

The winner of LUNGevity's caregiver contest wins travel and a one-week stay for two at Cricket House in historic Gettysburg, PA. Cricket House is owned by Debi Gemmell, who was also a caregiver for her husband, Chris. "LUNGevity recognizes the difficulty and hardships that lung cancer caregivers sometimes face and are thrilled to be able to partner with Debi to offer this prize to one incredible caregiver. We wish we could give every one of these hard-working and deserving caregivers and their loved ones a prize," stated Katie Brown, Director of Support and Advocacy for LUNGevity Foundation.

LUNGevity Foundation has the largest grants award program for lung cancer research among lung cancer nonprofit organizations in the United States. As a thought leader and community hub, LUNGevity provides many resources to the lung cancer community, including the Lung Cancer Support Community, the largest dedicated social network providing support to anyone touched by lung cancer. As part of the online resources it offers, the Foundation created the Caregiver Resource Center, at, which offers emotional support, practical advice and patient advocacy advice, and other services for caregivers. It is the first online resource wholly devoted to lung cancer caregivers.

About Cricket House

Cricket House is an award-winning historical property located in the heart of downtown Gettysburg, PA, and consisting of two charming historic buildings, the Cricket Guest House and the Main House, which has recently opened the Cricket House Spa. For more information, please visit

About LUNGevity Foundation

The mission of LUNGevity Foundation is to have a meaningful impact on improving lung cancer survival rates, ensure a higher quality of life for lung cancer patients and provide a community for those impacted by lung cancer. It does so by supporting critical research into the early detection and successful treatment of lung cancer, as well as by providing information, resources and a support community to patients and caregivers.  

LUNGevity seeks to inspire the nation to commit to ending lung cancer.

For more information about the grants or LUNGevity Foundation, please visit

About Lung Cancer

  • 1 in 14 Americans is diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime
  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death, regardless of gender or ethnicity
  • Lung cancer kills almost twice as many women as breast cancer and more than three times as many men as prostate cancer
  • About 55% of all new lung cancer diagnoses are among people who have never smoked or are former smokers
  • Only 16% of all people diagnosed with lung cancer will survive 5 years or more, BUT if it's caught before it spreads, the chance for 5-year survival improves dramatically

SOURCE LUNGevity Foundation