Astellas Pharma US, Inc. (“Astellas”) today announced it has awarded $200,000 in total grants and resources to winners of the fourth annual C3 (Changing Cancer Care) Prize, a challenge that funds the best ideas beyond medicine to improve cancer care for patients, caregivers and their loved ones. Audrey Guth, founder of Nanny Angel Network in Toronto, Canada, was chosen as the 2019 Grand Prize winner.
With the funds from the C3 Prize, Guth intends to expand the reach and impact of Nanny Angel Network (now Nankind), which trains volunteers to care for children whose mothers have cancer. Guth, a cancer survivor and mother of four, established the Nanny Angel Network in 2009 after she found a gap in healthcare and social services for mothers with cancer and their children. The program provides stability, normalcy, and support during a challenging time.
“Moms, particularly in underserved populations, are often forced to choose between caring for their children and going for treatment, and such a serious diagnosis can leave kids feeling sad, scared and anxious,” Guth said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to expand the reach and impact of Nanny Angel Network as we seek to ease the burden of living with cancer for families.”
NAN volunteers have experience working with children and undergo specialized training focused on how to talk to children about cancer, and death and dying. This equips them to support families by reducing any fear and anxiety the children may be experiencing as a result of their mother’s illness.
Three finalists pitched their ideas to a panel of judges, including celebrity entrepreneur and cancer activist Bill Rancic and other leaders in innovation, healthcare and business, during a live pitch event in New York on October 25, 2019. Leah Werry, Kingston Champion of Nanny Angel Network, pitched on Guth’s behalf.
“As the husband of a cancer survivor, a father and a businessman, it is an honor to help select the winning idea and put a spotlight on life-changing cancer care solutions,” Rancic said. “This winning idea is putting the focus on families and providing critical stability for families throughout the ups and downs of a cancer journey.”
This year’s challenge awarded four prizes totaling $200,000 in funds (one Grand Prize of $100,000, two $45,000 Innovation Prizes, and one Emerging Ideas Prize of $10,000). Along with the funding, all winners will have the opportunity to attend TEDMED 2020 as TEDMED Scholars, joining a unique, multidisciplinary community of leading thinkers and doers from across the landscape of health, medicine, and scientific innovation. The winners also will receive a yearlong complimentary membership to MATTER, a global healthcare startup incubator, community nexus and corporate innovation accelerator.
The 2019 Innovation Prize winners are:
- Daniella Koren of New York, New York, USA, founder of Arches Technology, whose idea is to expand a digital patient education and engagement program called MyCareCompass that provides relevant information and evidence-based education to people impacted by cancer throughout their treatment journey.
- Leslie Schover of Houston, Texas, USA, founder of Will2Love, whose idea is to tailor self-help programs for men and women to meet the needs of special populations including younger survivors and LGBTQ survivors. Will2Love provides online education and expert guidance to help people impacted by cancer overcome problems with sexual health and fertility, trains oncology professionals to better manage these problems, and consults to hospitals to set up reproductive health programs.
This year, Astellas introduced a new Emerging Ideas Prize to recognize ideas that need additional cultivation before implementation. Abby Westerman of b-present Foundation was selected for this prize and also presented at the live pitch event. Westerman plans to use the Emerging Ideas Prize to extend the reach of b-there, a web-based patient and supporter connection tool to lower the barrier for young adults with cancer to stay connected with friends, offering a quick, easy, low-stress way to control visits, convey status updates, and request needed items.
“Astellas is extremely proud to help advance the inspiring ideas from this year’s winners, who are actively working to transform what it means to live with a cancer diagnosis, and improve the patient experience throughout the cancer journey,” said Mark Reisenauer, senior vice president, Oncology Business Unit at Astellas.
For more information, visit www.C3Prize.com.
About the Astellas Oncology C3 Prize
The Astellas Oncology C3 Prize, launched in 2016, is a global challenge that aims to address the complexities of the cancer journey by funding the best ideas in cancer care beyond medicine. The C3 Prize sparks innovative developments in cancer care, tackling cancer challenges by awarding the winners with prize money and connecting them with resources and support. The C3 Prize directly reflects the mission of Astellas Oncology: striving to make every day better for those impacted by cancer. Astellas maintains no ownership in the ventures funded by the C3 Prize. For more information, visit the website at https://www.C3Prize.com.
Astellas is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. For more information on Astellas, please visit our website at http://www.astellas.us. You can also follow us on Twitter at @AstellasUS, Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AstellasUS or LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/company/astellas-pharma.
TEDMED is the independent health and medicine edition of the world-famous TED conference and TED Talks, dedicated to “ideas worth spreading.” TEDMED bridges the gap between science and the public by finding and sharing stories that inform, inspire, engage, and provoke action across a broad, passionate community both inside and outside of health and medicine. Best known for their annual event, TEDMED is a year-round global community. TEDMED is a 501(c)(3) Public Charity.
MATTER is a global healthcare startup incubator, community nexus and corporate innovation accelerator. MATTER mobilizes a community of entrepreneurs, industry innovators, scientists and clinicians committed to improving health and care for every patient.
SOURCE: Astellas Pharma US, Inc.