Katie Brown

Caregiver Contest Winner

January 18th, 2012 - by Katie Brown

Washington, D.C. (January 18, 2012) LUNGevity Foundation is pleased to announce Cyndi Siegfried of  Germantown, Tenn. as the winner of its Annual Caregiver Contest, recognizing a special individual who has provided exceptional care to a lung cancer patient. Cyndi was nominated for the award by her husband Jim, a 9-year lung cancer survivor who is currently cancer-free.

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. Cyndi Siegfried 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

Cyndi has been the primary caregiver for Jim, who was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2002.  In his nomination, Jim noted that “in 2002, Cyndi was computer illiterate. We bought a computer and she dove in, teaching herself, in order to research my particular type of cancer, get information about trials, traditional and complementary treatments, and to find the best doctors and cancer hospitals. She has been my encourager, helping me to keep my focus on what is really important. She has been at the forefront from day one, making sure I get the best of what I need to fight this disease. But she doesn’t see herself as a ‘caregiver’ but rather as a person who loves someone with cancer.”

Recognizing the special needs of caregivers, Cyndi and Jim also founded a local in-person support group for patients and caregivers, and Cyndi recently wrote a book to help other caregivers, A Caregiver’s View from the Passenger Seat.

The winner of LUNGevity’s caregiver contest wins travel and a one-week stay for two at Cricket House in historic Gettysburg, Penn. 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 recently unveiled the Caregiver Resource Center, at www.lungevity.org/caregiver, 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 LUNGevity Foundation

The mission of LUNGevity Foundation is to have a meaningful and immediate 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.

In order to accomplish our mission, LUNGevity funds the most promising research into the early detection and successful treatment of lung cancer. LUNGevity also supports the largest national grassroots lung cancer network, as well as the largest online support community for those affected by lung cancer.

The organization was recently awarded the coveted four-star charity ranking by Charity Navigator, American’s premier charity evaluator based on LUNGevity’s sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency.

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

For more information, please visit www.lungevity.org.

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 www.crickethousegettysburg.com.

Cyndi and Jim Siegfried

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