The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989

Community Bits

Living through cancer

Joanne Fredrikson

The group People Living Through Cancer believes that people should not have to go through a cancer journey alone.

PLTC announces the eleventh annual People's Caring Awards—an opportunity to honor the care, compassion, and support demonstrated by New Mexico health-care professionals, volunteers, individuals, and businesses who give their time and effort to help individuals dealing with cancer. The 2005 People's Caring Awards will acknowledge the extraordinary respect and understanding shown by individuals and organizations through the process of cancer diagnosis to survivorship. PLTC is a twenty-plus-year-old grassroots nonprofit organization in Albuquerque that provides comprehensive emotional support and educational programs for people diagnosed with cancer.

There is no cost to submit a nomination for an award. The process requires a one-page or shorter written statement of why the individual or organization deserves an award. You are asked to cite specific examples of how they showed empathy for survivors and loved ones; how they encouraged participation in decision making; or how they demonstrated support, leadership, and compassion. Nominations will be accepted until January 10. Nomination forms are available at, or call 242-3263 to request that a form be mailed to you. A distinguished jury panel of health-care consumers and providers will select the 2005 award recipients. Nominees may include the following:

  • Any health-care provider who works with cancer survivors or their loved ones, including physicians, nurses, medical technicians, counselors, social workers, and chaplains
  • Any individual who assists cancer survivors or their loved ones
  • Any business or organization that provides leadership or services in support of cancer survivors and their loved ones, or provides a cancer-survivor-friendly atmosphere or workplace
  • Clergy or specialized support persons

Every nominee's personal story will be acknowledged, and the nominees will be celebrated during the awards ceremony on March 13 at the Albuquerque Pyramid North Hotel. Five nominees will be selected by the jurors to receive special awards. The People's Caring Awards Dessert Reception and Awards Ceremony is the major annual fund-raiser for People Living Through Cancer.

Previous winners in the event's ten-year history have included a police officer who championed his work partner, a pet therapist and her dog, a granddaughter who supported her grandfather through his diagnosis to his death, a cleaning helper in a hospital who overheard a patient receive a diagnosis from a doctor and then spent five hours waiting with the patient for the family to arrive, the physician of a young boy who lost his leg to cancer, and many more.

Since 1983, PLTC has provided peer support to over fifteen hundred people with personal and family experiences with cancer. This entails matching individuals with similar diagnoses to share experiences, answering questions, and providing emotional support. Specialized peer-led support groups function across the metro area of Albuquerque.

People Living Through Cancer receives support from the New Mexico Department of Health, the Susan G. Kommen Foundation, and the United Way of Greater Albuquerque.


Calling all experienced gardeners: Master gardener class to begin soon

The Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program is for residents who have been gardening for a few years. It is designed to educate and assist the residents of Sandoval County in all aspects of gardening. To become a master gardener, you must complete forty hours of classes, including tests, thirty hours of volunteer work, and ten hours on the hotline.

The eleven-week course will begin on January 11 on Tuesdays from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Grace Outreach Center, 2900 Southern Boulevard in Rio Rancho. The cost is $60 and the deadline to apply is January 6. For more information and an application, contact the Sandoval County Cooperative Extension Service at 867-2582 or 1-800-678-1802.

The program is sponsored by New Mexico State University, the Sandoval County Cooperative Extension Service, and Sandoval County Master Gardeners.

If you require an auxiliary aid or service to participate in the program, please call 867-2582.






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