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Named in memory of Amanda Dempsey, the award is given annually to a cancer survivor who demonstrates a passion for helping others with cancer in the state of Maine.
Brooke Ismail has been named the 2016 Amanda Dempsey Award Winner presented by Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer. Named in memory of Amanda Dempsey, the award is given annually to a cancer survivor who demonstrates a passion for helping others with cancer in the state of Maine. It is presented in conjunction with the annual Dempsey Challenge, the primary fundraising event for the Dempsey Center.
Brooke was first diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2013. Her diagnosis required a double mastectomy, and even though her surgery was to take place on October 1, she still insisted on attending the Dempsey Challenge a mere nine days later. That Sunday morning, she was driven to the finish line to cheer on her team members from “Brooke’s Rack Pack”, who participated in her honor.
Brooke took her diagnosis as a challenge to help others, and their families, as they face their cancer journeys. She has become passionately involved in cancer research, support and fundraising, as well as being an inspiration for survivors.
In the last few years, Brooke has taken on major responsibilities in the cancer community to help patients, families and survivors. She’s on the leadership committee of the Champion the Cure Challenge in Bangor, and is key committee member of the Pink Runway Project. Additionally, Brooke recently started a peer-to-peer support group called Open Arms, which helps educate, empower and provide support and friendship to women in various stages of their cancer journey — all from a patient perspective.
“Each year our partnership with the Dempsey Challenge reinforces the foundation of our Breakaway from Cancer initiative,” said Richard Paulson, vice president and general manager, Amgen Oncology. “Amgen is proud to be part of this event and to honor Brooke for her dedication to leadership in the fight against cancer. Brooke is a key player in the team that is leading the fight to overcome this disease, and we applaud her commitment to education and awareness. Congratulations, Brooke, and thank you for your devotion to this effort.”
Brooke will formally accept the award on Saturday, October 1, at the Champions for Hope Celebration, which recognizes the fundraising efforts of Dempsey Challenge participants. Past award winners include: Dr. James Campbell, Nel Bernard, Hailey Sontag, Kristen Short, Laura Davis, Scott Thomas, Carlene Sperry and Allen Lariviere.
As part of Dempsey Challenge weekend, Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer and the Dempsey Challenge invite all cancer patients, survivors, and their families to walk with Brooke and actor Patrick Dempsey in the Amgen Breakaway from Cancer Survivor Walk on Saturday, October 1, at 10:00 a.m. at Simard-Payne Memorial Park in Lewiston. The walk is free to the public, and there is no need to preregister. There is a new start location this year, so participants are encouraged to visit the Dempsey Center Spirit of Hope Tent by 9:45 a.m. to be directed to the staging area for the Walk.