Mountains of Hope is West Virginia’s comprehensive cancer coalition. WVU’s Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center is one of its four founding members. The award recognizes volunteer CCC coalition members and/or partners that consistently go above and beyond the call of duty to advance projects and/or interventions consistent with priorities in their state’s cancer plan.
“While I am honored to be recognized as the only person in the nation to receive this award, I am most happy about the opportunity it provides to raise awareness about the activities West Virginia is doing to eliminate cancer,” Davis, a cancer survivor, said. “I hope federal lawmakers will be so impressed that they will approve more National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control funding to fight the disease in our state.”
Shortly after joining the Mountains of Hope Coalition, Davis was named the Agent of Hope representative to the coalition’s steering committee. Agents of Hope are community volunteers within the coalition who actively promote the mission and vision of Mountains of Hope and encourage positive behavior change, especially in rural and isolated communities.
Davis’ involvement and commitment to the CCC movement has grown with each passing year. She is active with the West Virginia affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, supporting activities such as the Komen Race for the Cure. She is a member of the state partners group of the Bonnie’s Wells Wilson Mobile Mammography Unit and the Appalachia Cancer Network Advisory Board. She has written grants to provide funding for women who were un- or underinsured to receive mammograms and was the driving force in lobbying the West Virginia Legislature to make the breast cancer awareness license plate a reality in 2005. She is also an ambassador for the American Cancer Society;
Davis attended the C-Change 12th Semi-Annual Meeting with former West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise and spoke to various audiences, including former President George H. W. Bush. She was one of two people chosen to go with Lance Armstrong to advocate for cancer support in Washington, D.C.
“As a survivor I celebrate life each day. We are all involved in this journey called life. Being an advocate for cancer survivors I have learned how important it is to educate and provide meaningful education for my community. At the end of each day it’s really people who help people; and I want to be one of those people,” Davis said. “It’s a passion I have and it will be until I can’t continue. I don’t want to be concerned about my daughter getting breast cancer.”
In addition to being profiled on the C-Change website, Davis was honored at the organization’s annual meeting Oct. 5-7 in Washington, D.C.
“This invitation-only meeting brings together many of the national-level advocates who will impact the direction of cancer policy over the next several years,” Jim Keresztury, Mountains of Hope facilitator and member of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, said. “It’s a wonderful recognition and opportunity for both Patty and the Mountains of Hope Cancer Coalition.”
For more information: Amy Johns, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087