2021 Beacon of Hope Award

Who won the Beacon of Hope award?

Out of more than 800 votes cast, the winner is Noel Lipman, who was and is a go-to for Dan Miller, a stage IV metastatic bladder cancer patient. What makes Noel such a support for Dan is that she too is a bladder cancer survivor. She understands.

When nominating Noel, Dan wrote. “Upon hearing about my diagnosis, Noel, a 9-year bladder cancer survivor herself, immediately dropped everything and came over to talk with and comfort us.”

Beacon of Hope award winner Noel Lipman

He continued: “Noel is not the only inspirational contact that we have met since the diagnosis, but she continues to be the person who helps keep the light in this journey’s tunnel well-lit and keeps me moving forward, one step at a time.”

What is the Beacon of Hope award?

For several weeks, bladder cancer community members nominated their beacons – that special someone who has been a light in the darkness that bladder cancer can bring. For three weeks in May 2021, members of the bladder cancer community voted for one of the three finalists, the person whom they believed was most deserving.

We are deeply grateful to those bladder cancer community members who took the time to craft such compelling entries as well as to the more than 800 people who helped us select the first-ever winner.

Congratulations to the two other finalists:

John De La Garza

John and Dorothy de la Garza
John and Dorothy De La Garza

Person nominating: Dorothy De La Garza

Why he is a Beacon of Hope: John is a caregiver for his wife, Dorothy, who was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2016. 

Dorothy said: “He’s my cheerleader without pom poms. Since that stunning T-2 bladder cancer diagnosis in August 2016, John De La Garza has served as my sole 24/7 companion navigating our unending journey of scans, blood labs, chemo, PE’s, surgeries, sepsis, ureteral stents, nephrostomies, and doctors’ debates. John is more than a beacon—he’s my ‘Husband of Hope’’ for life, a beacon of better days ahead beyond a cancer diagnosis.”

Dr. Jonathan Wright

Dr. Jonathan Wright

People nominating: Beata Jachulski Baker and Karen LaFlamme

Why he is a Beacon of Hope:

Beata (bladder cancer caregiver) said: “His deep humanity and compassion made all the difference for us.  Dr. Jonathan Wright is our hero, our healer, and our beacon of hope.”

Karen (bladder cancer patient) said: “His positive attitude has been so helpful in the worst of times. Dr. Wright brings hope, even in the darkest of days. And I am living proof that he has done an exceptional job.”