Extraordinary healers

This year's Extraordinary Healer Award contest was a special one, not only for CURE, but also for Cindi Cantril, an oncology nurse for Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation in Santa Rosa, Calif. In front of more than 750 of her fellow oncology nurses, Cindi was awarded this year's Extraordinary Healer Award for Oncology Nursing. Cindi was highlighted as an extraordinary nurse in an essay written by Ann Tallman of Windsor, Calif., a breast cancer survivor and colleague of Cantril's. You can read Tallman's essay in the upcoming Summer issue of CURE.Tallman described in detail not only the many ways that Cantril cared for her during her diagnosis, surgery and treatment, but also how Cantril went above and beyond to develop programs to support people living with cancer. Cantril developed a peer-to-peer support program called WINGS -- Women Inspiring, Nurturing, Giving, Supporting -- in which volunteer survivors are paired with newly diagnosed women for support. The program has been so successful that it has been expanded to help women with other types of cancer, not just breast cancer. A men's group -- called WINGMEN -- has also grown from Cantril's efforts. She is also developing an equine program for patients to work with horses as a healing therapy. Two other nurse finalists were honored at the reception: Noelle Paul, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, was nominated by caregiver Mary Kay Morelli of Sparta, N.J., and Anne Todd, from Indiana University Health Southern Indiana Physicians, was nominated by caregiver Chuck Wilson of Bloomington, Ind. for the exceptional care received by a friend during her cancer experience. Celebrity speaker Rob Lowe joined CURE and the event's sponsors in thanking the oncology nurses in attendance for all that they do on behalf of their patients. Lowe lost his mother, grandmother and great grandmother to breast cancer and for the past decade has devoted his time to breast cancer awareness.It's not too early to start thinking of a special nurse to honor for next year's award! If you write a winning essay about your nurse that is chosen as one of the finalists, you and your nurse will get to join the nurses in Orlando to celebrate oncology nursing. Essays will begin to be accepted in the fall. A list of all nurse nominees and the finalist essays will be available later this summer.