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LCA Announces 4th Annual Support Group Award Recipients

Washington, DC [December 10, 2012] — Today, Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) announced the recipients of its 4TH Annual Lung Cancer Support Group Award. The 2012 award goes to April Plank, DNP and Kathy Shurpin, PhD, RN, co-facilitators of the lung cancer support group at Stony Brook Medicine in New York.

“April and Kathy are truly committed to making their group a safe and supportive place,” said Amy Copeland, LCA Associate Director of Support Services. “They are warm, compassionate and enthusiastic about the group and think creatively about how to provide support even when someone is not well enough to attend.”

This award was created to recognize excellent support group facilitators and to inspire and encourage the creation of more lung cancer support groups throughout the US. Award winners have shown great dedication to those affected by lung cancer in spite of the challenges that often come with sustaining these support groups.

“We hope this will encourage others to dedicate time and resources to facilitating or joining a lung cancer support group in their communities,” continued Copeland. “We admire and applaud the dedication of all of the award recipients for their dedication to those with lung cancer. This year is no different.”

“It is truly an honor for Stony Brook Medicine to be given this award from such a prestigious organization,” said April Plank. “There are few words to express the sheer joy one receives in observing the process that often takes place in those who become regular group attendees. Co-facilitating this group of patients and their loved ones along their journey with lung cancer has been one of my greatest career rewards.” 

Kathy Shurpin echoed Ms. Plank’s feelings. "It is a privilege to have the opportunity to serve patients and families experiencing lung cancer in this support group. These patients and their family members provide not only support for each other but insights into the cancer experience that inform my teaching, research and practice."

Participants see the value as well. “During my six month treatment, the group gave me much strength to tolerate the medical ‘aggressions’ my body was suffering,” said Carlos, a group participant. “Eighteen months after finishing my first battle, I think the group is like a brotherhood where the feelings and fears of cancer survivors are really understood, and your story is of value for other patients during their bad times.”

To find a lung cancer support group near you, please visit: http://www.lungcanceralliance.org/get-help-and-support/coping-with-lung-cancer/support-groups.html.