2018 Shining Light Awardees
Victoria Cooke Leadership Award
Senator Liane Sorenson
Senator Liane Sorenson’s career is distinguished by her dedication to women, children, and families. As a former State Senator and minority whip of the State Senate – she used her position to sponsor and co-sponsor eminent legislation like the Breast Cancer Tax Check-Off, which provides residents with an easy way to make a contribution upon filing state tax returns; and the establishment of the Cancer Consortium and Office of Women’s Health. Her commitment continued as a proponent of funding the State of Delaware’s mobile screening van, offering screenings to those facing barriers to care; and in 2017 evolving into a state of the art women’s medical facility on wheels. Beyond her life as a public servant, Senator Sorenson has enthusiastically chaired the Coalition’s Legislative Advisory Council since it was first structured in August 2015. She has recently taken on a new role, as a breast cancer survivor and her advocacy for DBCC has taken on a new level of commitment.
Victoria Cooke Leadership Award
Senator Margaret Rose Henry
Senator Margaret Rose Henry is known for her extraordinary commitment to public service with an emphasis on working to improve the lives of women, children, families, and the elderly. She is being recognized for the Victoria Cooke Leadership Award for her contributions in the fight against breast cancer. She has been a champion for legislation and state funding to break down barriers to breast cancer screenings, always focused on serving uninsured and underinsured populations and breaking barriers to healthcare. In the last legislative session, she co-sponsored legislation requiring health insurance providers to cover the cost of drugs to metastatic patients without requiring them to prove a failed response to different drugs first. Senator Henry has served as a member on the Coalition’s Legislative Advisory Council which helps DBCC respond to, and form policies and positions on, federal and local matters related to breast cancer, insurance, and women’s healthcare access.
Spotlight on Survivorship
After being diagnosed with stage 3, triple negative breast cancer in April of 2015, Love’s mind was faced with a myriad of questions and emotions …“Will I survive this?” “Will I live to raise my daughter?” At that moment, she turned to the power of prayer, love, family, and friends and decided to power through the disease. She went through a grueling treatment regimen until she was declared cancer free, and a year later she experienced pulsations in her face. She was diagnosed with 13 tumors in her brain as a result of her breast cancer which had metastasized. She went through clinical trials in Delaware and New York which significantly shrank her tumors but Love hasn’t let her most recent diagnosis hold her back! She has become involved in various breast cancer initiatives, including the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center at Christiana Care’s Health Services where she disseminates triple negative outreach to women of color. No matter the test, the drug, or therapy she had to experience, Love has always kept a positive outlook and encouraging spirit.
Spotlight on Survivorship
As the former first lady of Delaware, Carla has been the face of many charitable initiatives over the years ranging from women’s health to volunteerism to mentoring. Her support for the fight against breast cancer was natural, given her personal experience. As a survivor, for over 13 years, she has publically shared her initial discovery of the cancer (which started as an itch), her treatment and care, and her survivorship journey. She has stressed the importance of sharing and openness about cancer, to remove the stigma and form a sisterhood with other survivors. She has been a champion of early detection, and the need for outreach, especially to those with barriers such as a lack of insurance or those who do not speak English as a first language. She is a former board member of the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition and a lifelong friend to the cause.
Spotlight on Philanthropy
Sandy and Bob Ashby are recently retired but well-known leaders in the foodservice industry in Delaware. They owned and operated the Ashby Hospitality Group, which started as McGlynns Pub in Pike Creek and eventually expanded into 6 restaurants throughout the state and a traveling food truck. Over the last four years, Sandy was introduced to the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition upon her initial diagnosis of breast cancer. She started out by obtaining a peer mentor to help her through her journey, and later, Sandy volunteered to become a peer mentor to help others. The Ashby’s connection to DBCC and breast cancer did not end, Sandy is now a three-time survivor. Sandy and Bob have become invaluable supporters, creating teams for Dewey Goes Pink each year, and developing their own 5K, Deer Park Goes Pink, at their historic Deer Park Tavern in Newark. This event has seen significant growth in participation and raised $25,000 over the past two years. The Ashby’s have become tireless community advocates and generous philanthropic leaders for DBCC and the community.
Spotlight on Healthcare Delivery
Dr. Wendy Newell, of Wolf Creek Surgeons, has been on the front line in the fight against breast cancer for more than two decades. She treats patients with breast cancer in the Dover area and practices at Bayhealth Cancer Institute. When she started her career, breast cancer became her focus because nobody in Dover was specializing in breast issues. Today, about 80 percent of her practice is concentrated in breast health. Dr. Newell was an essential leader in building the Bayhealth Go Pink! campaign, held each October to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer programs in Kent County, which will enter its 13th year in 2018. In addition to treating patients, Dr. Newell has been a longtime advocate for early detection, arguing that screening earlier saves lives. She served on the DBCC Board of Trustees from 2006 to 2015.
Spotlight on Business
At WSFS Bank, health and wellbeing are fundamental to the Company’s corporate giving strategy and the benefits and programs it offers to WSFS Associates. The Bank contributes to organizations that protect the health of those who live within the communities it serves and are least able to afford the healthcare services they require. Since 2008, WSFS Bank has been a significant community partner to the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition. They lead by example, with employees participating in DBCC events, serving on planning and volunteer committees, and volunteering in the fight against breast cancer. WSFS Bank supports educational programs that prevent illness and promote healthy lifestyles. When it comes to community service, commitment to health and wellness, and the value of teamwork, WSFS Bank is an exemplary partner.