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Three nurse finalists and the patients and caregivers who nominated them are headed to Boston to celebrate the field of oncology nursingActress and breast cancer survivor, Cynthia Nixon, to act as Mistress of CeremoniesDALLAS and THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – April 11, 2011 – CURE magazine, the nation's largest magazine for people with cancer, has announced the three finalists for the 2011 Extraordinary Healer Award for oncology nursing. The contest, made possible with financial support from Amgen Oncology and Breakaway from Cancer®, invited patients and their families to submit a 400-1000 word essay describing the compassion, expertise and helpfulness a special oncology nurse exhibited toward them during their cancer journey.This year's finalists include Marie Hayek from Columbus Community Hospital in Columbus, Texas, nominated by Martha Hastedt, also of Columbus; Robert Martinez from Bon Secours Cancer Institute in Mechanicsville, Va., nominated by Corinne Gray, also of Mechanicsville; and Rebecca Wojtecki from the Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Albany Medical Center in Albany, N.Y., nominated by Rita Stoddard, also of Albany. "Each of this year's finalists represents very different experiences between nurses and their patients and caregivers," says Susan McClure, cancer survivor and publisher of CURE. "We have a nurse representing a small, rural community who works tirelessly to ensure that local patients can find assistance locally rather than having to travel for hours to receive care. Another decided to become an oncology nurse as a second career after retiring--he enrolled in nursing school with his daughter, graduated with her and now they work together at the same cancer center. In addition to these extraordinary examples, we have a young nurse who befriended a young adult patient and truly went above and beyond to help him finish college while undergoing treatment."Each of the three nurse finalists and their essayists (plus one guest) will receive round-trip airfare and two-night accommodations in Boston, where they will be honored at a reception held in conjunction with the Oncology Nursing Society's 36th Annual Congress on April 28, 2011. This year's reception is expected to draw more than 800 oncology nurses.Emmy, Grammy and Tony award-winning actress and breast cancer survivor, Cynthia Nixon, will act as the Mistress of Ceremonies. During the reception, the essayists will read their essay on-stage with their nurse standing beside them. Afterward, one of the finalist nurses will be presented with the 2011 Extraordinary Healer Award for Oncology Nursing and will also receive an all-expenses-paid spa trip for two. "As judges for this year's contest, we were tasked with selecting just three essays from more than 175 submissions," says Kathy LaTour, cancer survivor and editor-at-large of CURE. "And while it was a difficult task to narrow that pile down to three, each of this year's finalists exhibits a variety of characteristics that are truly extraordinary, and for that they deserve this recognition." 2011 marks the first year that Amgen Oncology and the Breakaway from Cancer initiative have sponsored the Extraordinary Healer Award, but the countless synergies between the two organizations' missions and the goal of the Extraordinary Healer Award are obvious. 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. "Oncology nurses are often the unsung heroes of cancer care. Those who have demonstrated exceptional devotion to meeting the needs of patients deserve to be recognized – that's why we at Amgen and Breakaway from Cancer are so pleased to sponsor the Extraordinary Healer Award," said Stuart Arbuckle, vice president and general manager, Amgen Oncology. "We commend the three finalists, who are testaments to the power of oncology nurses to make a lasting impact on patients and the families who depend on them."This year's winning essay will appear in the Summer 2011 issue of CURE, and all three finalist essays will be featured on CURE's website, www.curetoday.com, beginning June 28, 2011. Additional information on the Extraordinary Healer Award for Oncology Nursing, including past finalist essays, pictures from last year's reception, and more, can be found online at www.curetoday.com/healeraward. About CURE Magazine CURE magazine, a member of the US Oncology family – a division of McKesson Corporation, is a free, award-winning publication from Dallas-based CURE Media Group--the national source for cancer patient education. By combining science and humanity, CURE helps patients, survivors and caregivers navigate the cancer journey and understand their diagnosis and treatment, while providing tools to cope during and after cancer--ultimately helping them to live the life they aspire to live. US Oncology is a leading integrated oncology company uniting one of the largest community-based cancer treatment and research networks in America. Through the magazine, an annual resource guide for the newly diagnosed, books, and a new and interactive website, CURE provides a wealth of resources for everyone on the cancer journey. About Breakaway from Cancer® Founded in 2005 by Amgen, Breakaway from Cancer® is Amgen's national initiative to increase awareness of important resources available to people affected by cancer – from prevention through survivorship. Through Breakaway from Cancer, Amgen has joined forces with four nonprofit partner organizations: Prevent Cancer Foundation, Cancer Support Community (formerly known as The Wellness Community), Patient Advocate Foundation, and National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship. These organizations offer a broad range of support services complementing those provided by a patient's team of healthcare professionals. For more information, please visit www.breakawayfromcancer.com.About Amgen Amgen discovers, develops, manufactures and delivers innovative human therapeutics. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen was one of the first companies to realize the new science's promise by bringing safe and effective medicines from lab, to manufacturing plant, to patient. Amgen therapeutics have changed the practice of medicine, helping millions of people around the world in the fight against cancer, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and other serious illnesses. With a deep and broad pipeline of potential new medicines, Amgen remains committed to advancing science to dramatically improve people's lives. To learn more about our pioneering science and our vital medicines, visit www.amgen.com.