LCI's 2020 Advocate Award Winners

Last week Lung Cancer Initiative (LCI) hosted its first-ever virtual Let's Create Hope: Annual Update & Award Celebration 2020 where it recognized lung cancer advocates across the state, shared lung cancer research updates, and took a look back at the lung cancer communities accomplishments in 2020. Though last year was different, thanks to the generous support of our network of hope, community partners, sponsors, and our staff's ability to adjust and adapt to online events and programs, we were able to stay connected with lung cancer survivors, patients, and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the pandemic, LCI created the Patient Emergency Fund, which supported 80 lung cancer patients with $20,000 in stipends to help provide them with their basic needs during the pandemic. LCI provided 397 patients access to appropriate care through the gas card program, and funded $325,000 in critical lung cancer research across North Carolina, including funding the projects of five Research Fellows.

None of this would have been possible without the help of our advocates across the state who work tirelessly to raise awareness and fight lung cancer. That's why every year we take the time to acknowledge advocates who have made an impact in the lives of those affected by lung cancer. Here are
LCI's 2020 Advocate Award Winners:


Survivor of the Year: Angela Hopper 














Angela Hopper has used her journey as a lung cancer survivor to support and encourage others by sharing her story and raising awareness of lung cancer on social media. Angela has been an active participant in LCI’s Online Survivor Luncheons, as well as helping lead committee meetings throughout 2020.


Angela has participated on Mission Hospitals Patient Advisory Council as a lung cancer representative for nearly seven years. Angela serves on the Survivor Steering Committee, helping LCI guide programs in ways that ensure they meet lung cancer survivors' needs. We are grateful to Angela for the time that she gives back to the lung cancer community as an inspirational advocate who constantly maintains a positive approach to the cancer journey. 


Volunteer of the Year: Sarah Mims 














Sarah Mims has been volunteering with LCI since being a remote Programs Intern last summer. As an intern, Sarah helped LCI start developing a database of cancer centers across NC and helped sort through Patient Emergency Fund applications. 


Sarah has continued to embrace the lung cancer community and advocate on its behalf. We are inspired by Sarah's dedication and commitment to serving the lung cancer community. 


Healthcare Provider of the Year: Rev. Adrian Dixon 














Director of Chaplain Services and Education, Rev. Adrian Dixon's dedication to those affected by lung cancer is phenomenal. Rev. Dixon, who leads the Spiritual Care program at Duke Raleigh Hospital, has been a supporter of LCI for many years, often going above and beyond to provide support and patient-centered care to the lung cancer community. From sending a special video message to share at LCI's Day of Remembrance, to participating in a panel on Coping with Covid-19 & Cancer, Rev. Dixon always shows up for the lung cancer community. 


According to his nominator, “Rev. Dixon supports LCI and the lung cancer community because he truly has compassion and empathy for all of those he encounters.” 


Caregiver of the Year: Brianna Pierce














Brianna Pierce has exemplified what it means to be a dedicated caregiver by the care she has provided her mother, Sandy, who was diagnosed with lung cancer. Even though Brianna is a wife, mother, and full-time worker, Brianna has been by her mother's side since her lung cancer diagnosis.


According to Brianna’s nominator, “She has shown more compassion and empathy than most people are capable of. She constantly shows me her deep love and her desire to keep me safe and alive as long as possible.” 


Committee Members of the Year: Raychelle Leonard & Sharon Buige









Raychelle Leonard and Sharon Buige both received this year’s “Committee Member of the Year” award due to their efforts and teamwork in helping the Charlotte LUNGe Forward event planning committee. 

The Charlotte LUNGe Forward event was the first of LCI's events impacted by COVID-19. Raychelle volunteered to take notes during committee meetings as it transitioned to an online format while Sharon oversaw the coordination of packet pickups. 

We appreciate Raychelle and Sharon for their time, energy, and support to further the mission on the committees which they serve. They have worked hard to raise lung cancer awareness and funds to support research and programming efforts. 

Watch LCI's Annual Update & Awards Celebration Again
by Clicking the Video Below!


LCI Would Like to Give a Special Thanks to All of Our Outgoing Leadership

LCI is thankful for all of the lung cancer experts who help run our board and committees. We'd like to give a special thank you to outgoing leadership: Jeff Petty, MD, Wake Forest Baptist Health (LCI Scientific Advisory Committee Chair, 2017-2020), Ed Kim, MD, MBA, Orange County City of Hope (LCI Board of Directors, 2016-2020), and Jared Weiss, MD, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center (LCI Board of Directors, 2014-2020).

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