NEW YORK, Oct. 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Chester, N.Y., resident Ellen Mayer wears many hats: professional artist, inventor, wife, mother, grandmother, recent college graduate and, as of October 23, muralist. Mayer is also a cancer survivor and kickboxer who notes, "My true grit helped me stay strong and knock out my cancer."
On October 23, the resolve Mayer has shown throughout her cancer journey will be immortalized in New York's storied Grand Central Terminal as hundreds gather to transform her artwork titled "Balancing Act" into a Hope Mural. The transformation of this artwork — depicting how cancer allowed Mayer to create a new sense of stability in her life — into a 12-by-20-foot mural is part of The Hope Murals Project, a national community art movement aiming to create permanent tributes in 10 cities throughout the United States and Puerto Rico to honor those touched by cancer. The New YorkHope Mural is presented by Lilly Oncology and the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS), with CancerCare® and The Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center (HICCC) of Columbia University and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. This initiative was launched to mark the 10th anniversary of the Lilly Oncology On Canvas Art Competition, which is presented by Lilly Oncology and NCCS. The competition invites all residents of the United States and Puerto Rico who have been touched by cancer to express, through art and narrative, the life-affirming changes that give meaning to their cancer journeys. Prizes consist of donations to cancer-related charities chosen by the winners.
Among the hundreds of painters present in Grand Central's Vanderbilt Hall will be the top three national winners of the 2014 Lilly Oncology On Canvas Art Competition. In addition, an exhibition of more than 100 entries from the 2014 competition will be featured.
"For a decade, Oncology On CanvasSM has provided a platform for thousands of cancer survivors, family members, caregivers and healthcare professionals to share their journeys, and for countless thousands more to be inspired by their artwork through exhibitions," said Newt Crenshaw, vice president, Lilly Oncology. "We are excited to bring communities together by bringing this moving artwork to life across the country through The Hope Murals Project."
Pennsylvania Cancer Survivor Wins Top Prize in 2014 Oncology On Canvas Competition; Giuliana Rancic Receives Ellen Stovall Award
Susan Hope Schaffer was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004. Schaffer, of Bethlehem, Pa., who captured her journey in an acrylic titled "Visions of Hope," was named today as the first-place winner in the 2014 LillyOncology On Canvas Art Competition. The narrative accompanying her artwork begins, "Cancer, a personal tsunami," and goes on to describe how those around her played a role in giving her hope through her cancer journey: her doctors' treatment outlines, her husband's love and embrace, her mother's strength, her daughter's tears, her granddaughter's eyes reflecting the future and survivors' eagerness to share their cancer journeys. She concluded her poem by explaining how each person in her circle of caregivers provided her with visions of hope that "enlightened the soul, giving strength to forge through my cancer tsunami."
As part of the Lilly Oncology On Canvas Art Competition, Lilly Oncology and NCCS created the Ellen Stovall Award in honor of Ellen Stovall, a tireless advocate for cancer survivors and former president and CEO of NCCS. The award recognizes those who use their art and/or celebrity to be, like Ms. Stovall, "a true champion and advocate for cancer survivorship." The first recipient, in 2010, was Katie Couric, former anchor of the CBS Evening News. Hoda Kotb, co-host of Today with Kathie Lee & Hoda, received the award in 2012.
The 2014 Ellen Stovall Award has been awarded to Giuliana Rancic, E! News co-anchor and co-host of The Fashion Police. Rancic has shared each step of her cancer journey with the public, from her diagnosis of early-stage breast cancer to her decision to undergo a double lumpectomy and then a double mastectomy.
"Giuliana Rancic has served as a courageous advocate for early detection, providing millions of viewers with a window into her journey," said Shelley Fuld Nasso, CEO of NCCS. "She serves as an inspiration to us all, which is why Lilly Oncology and NCCS are proud to present her with this year's Ellen Stovall Award."
As part of her journey, Rancic has partnered with nonprofit Bright Pink and its Fab-U-Wish initiative, which provides women undergoing treatment for breast and ovarian cancer with the opportunity to spend a day "feeling fabulous." She has raised awareness about the importance of early detection, partnering with Yoplait and General Mills' Save Lids to Save Lives® initiative. In 2013, she was named the first global ambassador of the LOFT's "Live in Pink" movement, which supports the Breast Cancer Research Foundation through its exclusive jewelry collection.
"I am honored to be the recipient of the 2014 Ellen Stovall Award and part of the 10th anniversary celebration of the Lilly Oncology On Canvas Art Competition," said Rancic. "I accept this award today on behalf of everyone living with, through and beyond a cancer journey, as well as those who love, care and advocate for them."
2014 Oncology On Canvas Competition Top Three Winners Announced
Schaffer, the first-place winner, conveyed her journey in her artwork "Visions of Hope," which conveys how her doctors and loved ones, as well as other cancer survivors, gave her hope to forge ahead through her cancer diagnosis and treatment. In addition to first place, Schaffer's artwork also won Best Entry by a Person Diagnosed with Cancer and Best Acrylic by a Person Diagnosed with Cancer.
Second place was awarded to Lynnea Washburn, of Sammamish, Wash., for her entry titled "Beautiful Courage," a watercolor. Her artwork depicts a red rose in full bloom surrounded by buds, all of them opening up to life shining through the center of her artwork in the form of a dazzling ray of sun. In her narrative, she wrote, "Courage can be quiet resolve, silent determination, and resilience of spirit. Courage can be both fragile and strong. … Courage allows hope. Hope begets life. Life carries on." Washburn also won Best Watercolor by a Person Diagnosed with Cancer.
Third place was awarded to Dennis R. Holliday, of Jefferson City, Mo., for his entry titled "Footsteps to Peace," an acrylic. His artwork, depicting a path heading out of dark woods and into the sun hidden behind a dark cloudy sky, is a tribute to someone who lost her battle against cancer. In his narrative, he wrote, "She saved me in my time of need and is, therefore, my angel who continues to watch over me."
Holliday also won Best Entry by a Family Member, Friend or Caregiver, and Best Acrylic by a Family Member, Friend or Caregiver.
The 2014 Oncology On Canvas competition awarded nearly $40,000 in prizes to cancer charities selected by the 17 winners in various categories. Artwork from the competition will tour cancer centers, hospitals and patient advocacy events nationwide beginning in January 2015.
Learn More About Lilly Oncology On Canvas — #hopeforward
About the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship
Founded by and for cancer survivors, the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS) advocates for quality cancer care for all people touched by cancer and provides tools and resources that empower people to advocate for themselves. NCCS believes patients empowered with information can receive optimal care by making their needs known to their doctors and care teams. NCCS strongly believes in evidence-based advocacy that reflects the needs of all cancer survivors to effect policy change at the national level. By advocating for patient-centered, coordinated care through treatment planning and care planning, NCCS is ensuring that the needs of cancer survivors remain at the center of healthcare policy. Since 2004, NCCS has been the co-presenter of the Lilly Oncology On Canvas Art Competition and Exhibition. NCCS offers publications and resources such as the award-winning Cancer Survival Toolbox®, a self-learning audio program created by leading cancer organizations to help people develop essential skills to meet the challenges of their illness. More information is available at www.canceradvocacy.org or 1-888-650-9127.
Founded in 1944, CancerCare® is the leading national organization providing free, professional support services and information to help people manage the emotional, practical and financial challenges of cancer. Our comprehensive services include counseling and support groups over the phone, online and in-person, educational workshops, publications and financial and co-payment assistance. All CancerCare services are provided by oncology social workers and world-leading cancer experts. CancerCare programs and services help 170,000 people each year, in addition to welcoming 1.5 million visits to our websites and distributing 800,000 publications. In the past year, CancerCare provided more than $22.3 million in financial assistance. The size and scope of CancerCare has grown tremendously since 1944, but it has never wavered from its mission of providing help and hope to people affected by cancer. To learn more, visit www.cancercare.org or call 800-813-HOPE (4673).
About The Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center (HICCC) of Columbia University and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
The Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center (HICCC) of Columbia University and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is dedicated to the cure of cancer through innovative basic, clinical, and population-based research and outstanding patient care. HICCC researchers and physicians are dedicated to understanding the biology of cancer and to applying that knowledge to the design of cancer therapies and prevention strategies that reduce its incidence and progression and improve the quality of the lives of those affected by cancer. Initially funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in 1972 and designated comprehensive in 1979, the HICCC is one of 41 NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the United States, of which only three are in New York State. The designation recognizes the Center's collaborative environment and expertise in harnessing translational research to bridge scientific discovery to clinical delivery, with the ultimate goal of successfully introducing novel diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventive approaches to cancer. For more information, visit www.hiccc.columbia.edu.
About Lilly Oncology
For more than 50 years, Lilly has been dedicated to delivering life-changing medicines and support to people living with cancer and those who care for them. Lilly is determined to build on this heritage and continue making life better for all those affected by cancer around the world. To learn more about Lilly's commitment to people with cancer, please visit www.LillyOncology.com.
About Eli Lilly and Company
Lilly is a global healthcare leader that unites caring with discovery to make life better for people around the world. We were founded more than a century ago by a man committed to creating high-quality medicines that meet real needs, and today we remain true to that mission in all our work. Across the globe, Lilly employees work to discover and bring life-changing medicines to those who need them, improve the understanding and management of disease, and give back to communities through philanthropy and volunteerism. To learn more about Lilly, please visit us at www.lilly.com and newsroom.lilly.com/social-channels.