Mother of five and 22-year cancer survivor Laura Davis of Buckfield has been named the 2011 Amgen Breakaway from Cancer® Survivor Award winner. The award is given to a cancer survivor involved in Central Maine community outreach and demonstrates a passion for helping others with cancer.
It is presented in conjunction with the annual Dempsey Challenge presented by Amgen, the primary fundraising event for The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing at Central Maine Medical Center.
Davis was first diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma when her first-born daughter, Sarah, was just four-weeks-old and has dealt with six additional diagnoses over the years.
“It is such an incredible honor to be recognized by Amgen with the Breakaway From Cancer Survivor Award,” said Davis. “As a 22-year survivor, there have been so many points in my life when I have needed an entire survival team of people—doctors, nurses, social workers and, of course, my amazing family and friends, to overcome this disease. It has taken all of us to make the difference in our community and I would encourage anyone whose life has been touched by cancer to find a way to get involved.”
Davis and her husband, Peter Rinck, own Rinck Advertising in Auburn. The agency has donated marketing and advertising services, hundreds of volunteer hours and raised thousands of dollars for both the Dempsey Challenge and the Maine Cancer Foundation. In 2010, Rinck Advertising began work on a branded Dempsey Challenge marketing campaign and produced the documentary film, “Badge of Honor,” which features in-depth interviews with Patrick Dempsey, his sister Mary, cancer survivors and Dempsey Center staff. The eight-minute film is available for viewing at dempseychallenge.org.
In 2010, Davis began the “I Hate Cancer” independent fundraising effort, selling merchandise to benefit the Dempsey Center. The edgy t-shirts and bracelets may be purchased online at http://rinckadvertising.com/ihatecancerstore. In addition, this year Davis partnered with award-winning tattoo artist, James McGrory of Fianna Studios in Portland to provide a free tattoo to a cancer survivor to commemorate their survivorship.
“Laura Davis’s energy and passion exemplifies the spirit of Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer initiative,” said Stuart Arbuckle, vice president and general manager, Amgen Oncology. “She is a true champion for the cancer cause in the greater Lewiston-Auburn community and beyond.”
“Laura’s advocacy for those affected by cancer is nothing short of inspirational,” said Dempsey Challenge Event Manager Aimee Arsenault. “She has taken her own life-changing diagnosis and used it as an impetus for improving the lives of countless individuals and communities affected by the disease. Her extensive and dedicated involvement with the Dempsey Challenge, Dempsey Center, Maine Cancer Foundation and Tri for the Cure made her a worthy recipient of this award.”
Davis formally accepted the award on Saturday, Oct. 8 at the Champions for Hope Celebration, which recognized the fundraising efforts of Dempsey Challenge participants. Past winners include Carlene Sperry, Allen Lariviere and Scott Thomas.
As part of Dempsey Challenge weekend, Amgen and The Dempsey Challenge invited all cancer patients, survivors and their families to walk with actor Patrick Dempsey in the Amgen Breakaway from Cancer Survivor Walk on Saturday, Oct. 8 at Simard-Payne Memorial Park in Lewiston.
Founded in 2005 by Amgen, Breakaway from Cancer is a national initiative to increase awareness of important resources available to people affected by cancer from prevention through survivorship.
Breakaway from Cancer represents a partnership between Amgen and four nonprofit organizations dedicated to empowering patients with education, resources and hope, wherever they may be in the cancer care continuum. For more information, visit www.breakawayfromcancer.com.
For more information on the Dempsey Challenge, visit www.dempseychallenge.org.