TORONTO, February 4, 2016— A cancer diagnosis doesn’t just affect the patient who receives it; it also has a life-changing impact on those closest to them.
Today, on World Cancer Day, Beauty Gives Back is launching the 2016 Facing Cancer Together Co-Survivor Award to recognize the selfless devotion of Canadians supporting a loved one through cancer treatment and recovery. The contest will also raise awareness of and offer support for the “Cancer Blues,” the emotional fallout from cancer.
Women across Canada can nominate a co-survivor—a spouse, friend, family member, or online supporter. The ten most compelling stories will be posted online, where Canadians can vote for their favourite. The winner will be announced on April 27th, during Cancer Awareness Month.
In addition to a special award presented to the Co-Survivor of the Year, they and their nominator will receive prizes worth more than $1,000 each. The nine other top co-survivors and nominators will receive prizes as well.
Canadian women who are going through or are recovering from cancer, are encouraged to nominate a co-survivor and submit their stories in English or French. Entries will be accepted until March 31st, 2016 at www.facingcancer.ca/award.
“Despite the overwhelming confusion, sadness and uncertainty faced during diagnosis, treatment and recovery, Christian proved to be my strength and courage when I had relinquished all hope. He gave me the will to persevere through each obstacle despite feeling exhausted, angry, unattractive and scared. His love and support fostered the energy I needed to keep fighting. For my second chance at life, his endless love and our future adventures and memories, — I'm forever blessed.”
— Mariarosa Schniering, nominator for the inaugural Co-Survivor Award winner (2015), Christian Schniering
“Nothing can ever prepare you for the moment your partner is diagnosed with cancer. One single word crumbled my visions of our life together and everything I thought mattered was taken away. But the feelings I had for Mariarosa were my beacon of hope. Determination, compassion and strength provided the internal strength necessary to fight and win her battle. More than ever before, I realized Mariarosa is the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. During her weakest moments I proposed in order to spark the light of conviction that ‘No matter what, you (Mariarosa) are not and never will be alone.’ While her illness certainly took numerous nights away from me, she gave me something I was missing before: passion, love, a best friend and a wife that I love a little more every day, deeply and from the bottom of my heart. Always and forever.”
—Christian Schniering, winner of the first Facing Cancer Together Co-Survivor Award
“Today, on World Cancer Day, we want to recognize the loved ones who support their spouses, family members, and friends who live with the effects of cancer treatment. The battles they face are not only for the patient; co-survivors experience life-changing emotional challenges through the cancer diagnosis, treatment and beyond.”
—Dr. Alexandra Ginty, Family Physician and Cancer Survivor, Regional Primary Care Lead for Cancer Care, Cancer Care Ontario, Mississauga/Halton
Beauty Gives Back is the charitable foundation of the Canadian beauty industry. For more than 20 years, Beauty Gives Back has supported tens of thousands of women through the Cancer Blues with programs such as Look Good Feel Better, a free, two-hour cosmetic and hair alternatives workshop, and FacingCancer.ca, an online support community. The Facing Cancer Together Co-Survivor Award recognizes the importance of a cancer information network and support resources to help women—and those who care about them—manage the social and emotional effects of cancer.