Ginger Freeze of Bryan, and other cancer survivors and caregivers were honored by the American Cancer Society High Plains Division with the 2012 Hero of Hope Award. The award recognizes 27 cancer survivors and caregivers who have had exemplary involvement with Relay For Life, made significant contributions to cancer control, and made an impact in the lives of others.
The American Cancer Society selected Ginger and others from across six states representing 11 regions. Mrs. Freeze is from Texas’ East Texas Region. The honorees selected symbolize the courageous struggle against cancer as they and family members deal with the physical and emotional aspects of their experience. They represent courageous voices of hope.
Ginger was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999 and her treatment included surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. She quickly became involved in Relay for Life through her Reach to Recovery volunteer, eventually becoming a volunteer herself as well as a regional trainer for other volunteers. As team captain of the Mary Branch Elementary School’s Relay for Life team, founded to support and honor one of it’s own students, Erin Buenger, Ginger guided the team to be the first Brazos Valley team to raise over $10,000 for the American Cancer Society! Ginger is determined to do all she can to erase the words ‘you have cancer’ from today’s vocabulary! She is ready and willing to share her story of hope with other groups, clubs, and professional organizations.
“The Hero of Hope Award provides a highly visible symbol of one’s courageous fight against cancer as well as encourages support and participation in the programs of the Society,” says Sheila Blankenship, American Cancer Society Relay For Life Hero of Hope Team Chair and survivor. Each Hero received their award at a special ceremony during the Relay For Life Leadership Summit held in Dallas on September 30, 2011.
“Meeting them and hearing their stories make a statement that progress is being made in cancer research and that there is hope for the future for people who are diagnosed,” says Blankenship. “We are proud of these individuals who exemplify true Heroes in their communities. They are indeed profiles of courage and the reason why we continue to Relay.”